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

May 17, 2001
Contact: Karen Davis 757-678-7875
Roberta Spivek 215-413-1461 eve/weekend

Activists Call On Wharton School To Cancel Jim Perdue's Speech
United Poultry Concerns Will Hold Protest If Perdue Is Not Cancelled

Machipongo, VA-United Poultry Concerns has sent letters urging The Wharton School Family-Controlled Corporation Program (FCCP) to cancel its speaking invitation to Jim Perdue of Perdue Farms at its May 23 dinner in the Ballroom at the Benjamin Franklin House, 9th & Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia 5:30-9:30 pm. The dinner honors finalists for the 2001 Family Business of the Year Awards. If Jim Perdue speaks, activist will protest from 4:30 - 6:00 pm outside the Ballroom.

Human rights advocates, religious groups, animal advocates, legislators, OSHA, and environmentalists have cited Perdue Farms for its morally indifferent business attitude and behavior for decades. Jim Perdue has been a leading opponent of efforts to regulate poultry farms on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, blocking laws to protect the Chesapeake Bay from further Pfiesteria piscicida outbreaks following 1997's outbreak linked to uncontrolled poultry waste. In 2000 a federal judge ruled that Perdue Farms willfully and negligently violated federal wage laws by denying its workers overtime wages. This year the court ordered Perdue Farms to pay $2.4 million back pay to these workers.

Perdue Farms has fought against having to assume any ethical responsibility towards the communities of the Eastern Shore, the states in which the company operates, its workers, its millions of birds, and the ecosystem as a whole. "In honoring family firms, The Wharton School should include corporate stewardship and business ethics along with profit-making criteria," says Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns. "Perdue Farms is a cruel company whose corrosive practices are restrained only by government intervention and citizens' groups. We call upon the University of Pennsylvania and The Wharton School to withdraw Jim Perdue's speaking invitation. If Wharton doesn't cancel Perdue, United Poultry Concerns will hold a protest demonstration at the Benjamin Franklin House, May 23, 4:30 - 6 pm."

United Poultry Concerns is a national nonprofit public information animal advocacy organization addressing the treatment of domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations.

Related links: