Pathology: voice of doom

chickens.jpegBoy’s voice ‘kills 400 chickens’

BEIJING, China (Reuters) — Hundreds of chickens have been found dead in east China — and a court has ruled that the cause of death was the screaming of a four-year-old boy who in turn had been scared by a barking dog, state media reported on Wednesday?.

A villager was quoted as saying the little boy bent over the henhouse window, screaming for a long time, after being scared by the dog?.

A court ruled the boy’s screaming was “the only unexpected abnormal sound” and that 443 chickens trampled each other to death in fear.

The boy’s father was ordered to pay 1,800 yuan ($230) in compensation to the owner of the chickens.

So says a January 24, 2007 Reuters report. Should further forensic analysis be desired, insight can be drawn from a masterful report by Graham B. Scott of Harper Adams University College:

Effects of Short-Term Whole Body Vibration on Animals with Particular Reference to Poultry,” Graham B. Scott, World’s Poultry Science Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, March 1994, pp. 25-38.

(Thanks to investigator Mark Schreiber for alerting us to the court case.)

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