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

April 29, 2001
Contact: Karen Davis 757-678-7875
Beverly Whalen 440-951-0373

Poultry Activists Successfully Draw Attention to the Nightmare Inside

Machipongo, VA - WOIO-TV, Channel 19 in Cleveland announced last night on the 11:00 News that West Side Poultry, near the West Side Market, is being shut down. Citing "dilapidated building, unsanitary holding cages, putrid odors" and more, the City announced the slaughtering facility posed "an immediate threat to human health."

Action resulted from complaints to the The Plain Dealer by Beverly Whalen of Eastlake and by Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns in Machipongo, Virginia, in January, following a Cleveland resident's report of "filth and toxic fumes inside the building so sickening my stomach retched the minute I entered. Chickens were stuffed so tightly into cages they were unable to move. I fled at once."

On January 30th United Poultry Concerns wrote a letter to Cleveland Department of Public Health director Michele Whitlow noting that excretory ammonia poses a serious health risk for humans as well as for birds and other animals. We asked the Department to investigate. In a letter dated March 28, Ms. Whitlow replied that an inspection on January 30th showed "the shop is operated in substantial compliance with City of Cleveland Handling Ordinances and does not pose a threat to human health." United Poultry Concerns wrote back on April 4th that the health inspection report was inadequate and that we would continue our efforts including an animal cruelty investigation.

"Whatever triggered the shutdown, we rattled enough cages," rejoiced Eastlake resident Beverly Whalen this morning. We are asking Cleveland's animal control department to allow us to place the remaining birds in permanent sanctuaries. United Poultry Concerns operates a sanctuary for domestic fowl in Virginia and would like to adopt as many of the birds as possible. "These birds deserve a happy life from now on," says United Poultry Concerns' president Karen Davis. "We hope the City of Cleveland will allow us to do what we can to give them a good home."