UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Animal rights activist group PETA is calling on the Utah County Attorney to charge the man responsible for a wildfire in Springville with animal cruelty charges.
On Tuesday, PETA sent a letter to Utah County Attorney David Leavitt asking that Cory Allan Martin get charged with animal cruelty after igniting a wildfire while he was “trying to burn a spider.”
In the letter written to Leavitt, PETA said:
“Although no humans lost their lives, the many wild animals who resided on the approximately 60 acres of land destroyed in the fire were undoubtedly less fortunate—including the spider whom Martin reportedly told police he was attempting to burn with a lighter when the surrounding brush ignited. Such catastrophic fires inflict terror and suffering on countless animals and cause them to endure prolonged, agonizing deaths.”
The fire burned 60 acres of land after Martin accidentally started the fire on August 1. When fire personnel arrived on the scene around 5 p.m., they spotted Martin walking his dog up the mountain where the fire had started.
The 26-year-old told law enforcement he was using a lighter to burn the spider and set some brush on fire.
Martin was booked into Utah County Jail on a drug possession charge and a reckless burning charge that same day.