On Nov. 12, 2005, NPR show host Michael Feldman interviewed a resident of Ridgeland, Wis. who said her town celebrates Pioneer Day on Saturday February 18, 2006, by dropping chickens from a grocery store rooftop. According to the resident, “It’s one day and they throw live chickens off the grocery store and you can come and catch a chicken.”
In two letters to the Ridgeland Area Community Center (Nov. 22 and Dec. 22, 2005), United Poultry Concerns (UPC) asked about the event and urged that it be cancelled, enclosing our brochure “Chicken-Flying Contests – Cruel Fun” (www.upc-online.org/chicken_flying_contests.html). UPC wrote: “We respectfully ask that you replace this animal abuse activity with a humane activity, as suggested in the enclosed brochure.”
To date, there’s been no reply to UPC's concerns and no one answers the phone at the Community Center.
So-called chicken drops, chicken-flying contests, and turkey drops persist in certain rural environments. Like rodeos, they are rooted in attitudes and practices that challenge the notion that animal farming nurtures humane regard and respect for animal life. In the case of chicken drops, the joke is to drop birds whose flying ability is poor, and who are therefore scared and at risk of bodily injury made worse by being subsequently chased down by a gang scrambling to grab them. This is cruel, mean entertainment without even the excuse of skill, says UPC.
United Poultry Concerns calls upon the residents of Ridgeland, Wisconsin to cancel an event that demeans a community that finds it amusing to bully small birds. UPC calls upon Ridgeland to celebrate Pioneer Day with wholesome, compassionate activities.
Contact: Karen Davis
United Poultry Concerns
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405