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
www.UPC-online.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
11 December 2003
Contact:

Karen Davis 757-678-7875

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."

The 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.

The 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:

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American Association of Avian Pathologists

Charles L. Hofacre, Secretary-Treasurer of AAAP
953 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602-4875
Phone: (706) 542-5645; Fax: (706) 542-0249
E-mail: AAAP@uga.edu

November 20, 2003

Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
P.O. Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150

Dear Ms. Davis:

            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.

Sincerely,

Charles L. Hofacre, DVM, MAM, PhD

Secretary-Treasurer

CLH/sc

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This "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]

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