THOUSANDS of chickens are thought to be dead or injured after a lorry overturned on the A49 in Herefordshire.

Highways England are unable to give a time of when the A49 between Hereford and Leominster will reopen, with a clean-up operation under way.

A spokesperson said a lorry carrying 5,000 chickens overturned on Dinmore Hill, south of Leominster, shortly after 9am on Thursday morning.

West Mercia Police and a vet are still at the scene, where there is also damage to barriers and possibly the road surface. The latest update from police said the road is expected to remain closed overnight.

Latest updates: crash closes A49 in Herefordshire for 'some considerable time'

A police spokesperson said: "At around 9.35am today (July 1), we were called to reports of a road traffic incident on the A49 between Hereford and Leominster involving an artic lorry carrying 5,580 chickens.

"No-one was injured in the incident, however the road has been closed due to an oil spillage and diversions are in place.

Hereford Times: Thousands of chickens are reportedly killed or injured in the crashThousands of chickens are reportedly killed or injured in the crash

"Highways England is currently assessing the road to determine how long the closure will need to remain in place.

"A vet has also been called to attend to the needs of the chickens."


Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service was called to the scene at 9.43am this morning.

A spokesperson said two crews from Hereford and one from Leominster attended the scene, where they were called to reports of an overturned lorry and diesel spill.

They said an engineer was also on site to “isolate” the lorry, and crews contained the fuel spillage.


West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the scene, but stood down en route as there were no injuries reported.

The birds were understood to be going to Avara Foods' factory in Hereford. The company has been approached for comment, but it's understood a number of the birds were killed as a result of the crash.