A LORRY carrying more than 5,000 chickens to Avara Foods’ Hereford factory has overturned on the A49 near Leominster, but the company says its driver is not to blame.

Emergency services were called to the A49 at Dinmore, between Hereford and Leominster, shortly after 9am on Thursday (July 1) to reports of an overturned lorry and fuel spill.

West Mercia Police said 5,580 live birds were being carried by the articulated lorry, and the road was shut until the next morning while Highways England did repairs.

Avara Foods, which has a processing factory in Red Barn Drive, Hereford, said the welfare of the chickens was its immediate priority, and a vet was at the scene.

Since the crash, it ruled out any faults with the lorry and denied the driver was speeding, but said investigations were ongoing.

A spokesperson said: “We believe a range of factors may have contributed to the accident, but we can confirm the vehicle in question was roadworthy and the driver was not speeding.

“That stretch of the A49 is a known accident blackspot and as such we’re reviewing the sequence of events which led to the vehicle overturning and will follow up with any further action as required.”