Avian Vet Assn. Defends Gregg Cutler Despite Evidence
American Assn. of Avian Pathologists Denies
Veterinarian Gregg Cutler Told the Ward Egg Ranch To Throw Thousands
of Live Chickens Into Wood-Chippers: "he informed us . .
. he has not been on that ranch."
following letter dated Nov. 20, 2003, postmarked Dec. 4, was received
by United Poultry Concerns from the Secretary-Treasurer of the
American Assn. of Avian Pathologists (AAAP), a component of the
American Veterinary Medical Assn.
letter is in response to UPC's letter to the AAAP on Oct. 29,
2003, urging the AAAP to rescind its July 2003 award to Cutler
for "outstanding contributions within the field of avian
medicine" and to support his removal from the AVMA's animal
welfare committee. With the letter, UPC enclosed the San Diego
County Dept, of Animal Services investigative file. It includes
Lt. Mary Kay Gagliardo's "Statement of Dr. Gregg Cutler,
DVM (suspect)," which begins: "On 2/20/03 Dr. Gregg
Cutler told me he was overseeing the depopulation of the hens
on the Ward egg ranch and their affiliate ranches in San Diego
County. Cutler told me he authorized the use of the wood chipper
to depopulate the spent hens on the egg ranches. When I asked
Cutler if he thought it was a humane way to euthanize these animals
by throwing them into the chipper alive, he responded, 'Absolutely.'
Here is the AAAP's letter to United Poultry Concerns:
Association of Avian Pathologists
Charles L. Hofacre, Secretary-Treasurer of AAAP
College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602-4875
(706) 542-5645; Fax: (706) 542-0249
Poultry Concerns, Inc.
It is quite clear that the information that you have been provided
by Mary Kay Gagliardo which you included in your letter to the
American Association of Avian Pathologists, dated October 29,
2003, is erroneous.
When we discussed your letter and the accompanying information
with Dr. Gregg Cutler, he informed us that the Ward Poultry Farm
is not one of his clients and he has not been on that ranch. Dr.
Cutler is a private poultry consulting veterinarian, therefore,
he bills for his time and services and he would have records of
all of his farm visits and time.
Dr. Cutler informed us that he has never recommended using a wood
chipper to euthanize chickens. He was aware that during one of
the conference calls regarding the Exotic Newcastle Disease, in
California this past year, outbreak that this method was discussed
as a method to dispose of carcasses of euthanized birds to then
be composted. [See below - UPC Editor's Note.]
The American Association of Avian Pathologists agrees with the
recommendation of Dr. Cutler that the birds must be properly euthanized
prior to the use of grinding machinery to macerate the carcasses
of hens for use as compost.
L. Hofacre, DVM, MAM, PhD
"conference call" appears in the San Diego County Dept.
of Animal Services investigative file in the form of a 10-page
document which the department "received in the mail from
an anonymous source; a document that references a conference telephone
call between several participants and in several places includes
veterinarians. . . . [T]he fifth page of the document under the
heading 'SPENT HENS' . . . in the 4th paragraph [has]
a statement indicating the use of a 'chipper' to grind the birds.
It is clear, based on the 5th paragraph, that the document
considers this an appropriate method of euthanasia (versus carcass
disposal), as indicated by the statement 'Death is instant and
humane.' " [From a letter sent by the San Diego County Dept.
of Animal Services to the California Veterinary Medical Board,
Sept. 10, 2003]
Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the
compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. www.UPC-online.org