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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Should cows that died on Illinois roadways be remembered with a roadside memorial?
As WBBM Newsradio’s Julie Mann reports, the State of Illinois says no, but an animal rights group is now appealing that decision.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Julie Mann reports
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has issued a letter to the state Department of Transportation, asking the department to reconsider a request to install highway signs in memory of cattle that died as a result of traffic accidents.
Specifically, PETA wants memorials for the cows that died in two incidents involving trucks that flipped and killed the livestock inside.
PETA believes those cows suffered and should be remembered through the state’s Roadside Memorial Act.
IDOT denied the first request by PETA, on the grounds that only relatives of those who lost loved ones can request a memorial.
If approved, the markers would be installed in the Chicago suburbs, as well as northwest of Peoria.
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The purpose of the Roadside Memorial Act under state law is to raise public awareness of impaired driving, and to afford families the opportunity to remember the human victims of fatal crashes at the hands of impaired drivers.
“A qualified relative of a victim may make a request for the installation of a memorial marker in a supporting jurisdiction using an application developed by the supporting jurisdiction,” the state law says. “The supporting jurisdiction shall have sole responsibility for determining whether a request for a DUI memorial marker is rejected or accepted.”
There is no mention of non-human animals in the text of the state law.
Still, PETA says it is willing to pay for the memorial. IDOT says the request is under review.