Veterinarian Authorized Throwing Thousands of Chickens into Wood Chippers
United Poultry Concerns Urges the Removal of "Emperor of the World" from the AVMA's Animal Welfare Committee
Machipongo, VA - Based on records obtained under the California Public Records Act, United Poultry Concerns (UPC), an animal protection organization, has asked the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to remove Dr. Gregg Cutler, a veterinarian, from the AVMA's animal welfare committee for telling the Ward Poultry Farm to throw more than 30,000 live hens into industrial tree-shredders (wood-chipping machines) in February 2003.
During an investigation by the San Diego County Department of Animal Services, on February 20, 2003, Cutler told Lt. Mary Kay Gagliardo that throwing live hens into wood chippers "bunches at a time, being plugged up in the shoot, not knowing if they were going into the shredder feet first, breast first" was "painless." Asked to identify himself, he told her he was "Emperor of the World."
In a letter to United Poultry Concerns on March 27, 2003, AVMA Executive Vice President Dr. Bruce Little said that "Dr. Cutler informed us that he has never recommended using a wood chipper or other grinding machine to euthanize chickens." However, five witness statements, including Cutler's, concur that he authorized the procedure, which is not endorsed by the AVMA.
In a complaint to the California Veterinary Medical Board on September 2, 2003, San Diego County Regional Director John Carlson described how the hens died:
1) A combination of dead and live chickens was piled into the bucket of a front-end loader tractor.
2) The bucket was dumped into the receiving hopper of the chipper.
3) A hydraulic ram pushed the chickens toward a pair of large feed wheels.
4) The feed wheels crushed the chickens and fed them into a pulverizing device.
5) The pulverizing device destroyed the chickens by use of a large number of rapidly rotating metal hammers.
On October 24, UPC sent a copy of the San Diego County Department of Animal Services' 65-page report to Dr. Little with a letter asking the AVMA to review it, and, based on the testimony it contained, to remove Gregg Cutler from its animal welfare committee by November 7. Cutler not only authorized the inhumane killing of thousands of hens; he lied to the AVMA about his role.
"Gregg Cutler dishonored the veterinary profession by falsely assuming that no one was watching or cared about the birds he authorized the Ward Poultry Farm to shred alive in wood-chipping machines," says United Poultry Concerns President Karen Davis. "Animal protection organizations are going to be a thorn in the side of the AVMA until they remove Cutler from their animal welfare committee. Cutler violated his oath to employ his skills 'for the relief of animal suffering.' Death in a wood chipper - an industrial tree shredder - is not euthanasia. Under Dr. Cutler's direction, these birds were tortured to death. That's not what the public expects of a veterinarian."
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.UPC-online.org