United Poultry Concerns
Promoting the compassionate and respectful
treatment of domestic fowl

PO Box 150 Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(757) 678-7875 * FAX (757) 678-5070

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2001 Contact: Karen Davis 757-678-7875

Throwing a hen out a window is not cute, but cruel, Jury tells Disc Jockey "Willie B"

Machipongo, VA - United Poultry Concerns congratulates the Denver County District Attorney's Office for successfully prosecuting KBPI radio announcer Steven Meade, also known as Willie B, for cruelty to animals, for making a station intern drop a hen from a balcony to see if she could fly and to broadcast her reaction on the air. On January 31st, a 6-member jury convicted Meade of animal cruelty for his inhumane stunt, which carries a potential penalty of six to eighteen months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Meade is scheduled for sentencing on March 12th.

The importance of Denver County prosecutor Diane Balkin's achievement in winning Meade's conviction cannot be overestimated. The jury and prosecutor together sent a message, not only to the unrepentant Meade, but to his colleagues around the country, that animal abuse, be it to a chicken or a chimpanzee, will not be tolerated, and that encouraging listeners to be cruel for kicks invites prosecution and public exposure for depraved indifference to sentient life and the well-being of society.

"I called prosecutor Diane Balkin as soon as I heard the verdict, to congratulate and thank her for her splendid victory in court," said United Poultry Concerns president Karen Davis today. "The recent conviction of a chicken abusing farmer in the State of Washington (Keith Amberson of Amberson Farms in Snohomish County), and now this victory in Denver County, Colorado, shows how much public attitudes have changed over the past ten years," she said. "United Poultry Concerns is jubilant. We are grateful to the Denver County jury and to prosecutor Balkin for making it clear to Meade and to everyone else that animal cruelty is not a joke. It's a crime."

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