FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 29, 2001
Karen Davis 757-678-7875|
Beverly Whalen 440-951-0373
WEST SIDE POULTRY TO BE SHUT DOWN!
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
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."