FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2001
|| Contact: Karen Davis 757-678-7875|
DENVER COUNTY JURY CONVICTS DJ OF ANIMAL CRUELTY
FOR INSTIGATING CHICKEN ABUSE
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."