Annual Report for 1997
United Poultry Concerns holds that the treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations has a significant effect upon human, nonhuman, and environmental welfare. We seek to make the public aware of the ways poultry are treated and to advance the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl. We are grateful to our supporters for enabling us to fulfill our mission in 1997.
In 1997, United Poultry Concerns:
- Sponsored "Walking to Freedom" March for Battery Hens in Bethesda, Maryland, to educate the public about the conditions under which hens used for egg production. Our Walk was reported with a photo in The Gazette Newspapers March 26, 1997.
- Conducted a speaking tour in California. UPC president Karen Davis was a featured speaker on the environmental effects of modern poultry and egg production at the Contra Costa Earth Day Festival in Concord, CA. On April 21, 1997, she gave a talk on the modern poultry industry and poultry diseases at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.
- Launched Karen Davis's new book, Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry at Borders Books & Music on April 29th. Borders' invitation to the public stated, "Karen takes on the poultry industry in her thoroughly-researched and often-times gruesome view of the poultry and egg-raising industry in a manner sure to make you think twice about your consumption of these products."
- Led a successful campaign launched in response to the abuse of 50 hens by students at Horizon High School in Phoenix, Arizona on April 11, 1997. Joined by outraged citizens in Phoenix and around the world, United Poultry Concerns sponsored a rally at the school and met with the high school principal John Stollar on August 14th. UPC drafted an Ethical Policy Statement against animal abuse which was incorporated into the Horizon High School Student Policy Handbook for the 1998-1999 school year.
- Worked vigorously to obtain prosecution of the two men who beat to death 22 emus with baseball bats in Tarrant County, Texas on June 27, 1997. UPC wrote to the courts, published a letter in the Fort Worth-Star Tribune, and got animal protection organizations around the country to join us in sending support letters to attorney Don Feare for his Petition for Indictment to the Tarrant County Grand Juries August 27, 1997.
- Responded successfully to a call for help to stop cruel classroom experiments at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado. Deluged with negative publicity, the college has stopped the gassing and killing of chickens in "survival" courses this year.
- Spoke at the University of California, Santa Barbara on "The Moral Dilemma of Domestication" (Oct. 16); the Vegetarian Society of DC VegFest DC 1997 on "Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs" (Oct. 18); and Cornell University on "Animal Liberation and Social Justice" (Oct. 25, 1997).
- Extended our program to eliminate chick hatching programs in the schools. Distributed to educators our resource guide REPLACING SCHOOL HATCHING PROJECTS: Alternative Resources & How to Order Them and our accompanying storybook for children, A Home For Henny. Donated 1,000 Replacing School Hatching Projects to the 1997 Virginia Science Teachers Association Conference October, 23-25. Presented workshops and staffed exhibit booths at the 1997 Maryland Association of Science Teachers October 24-25; the 1997 Professional Day Conference for Teachers and Administrators in Independent Schools in Virginia November 3; and the National Science Teachers Association Convention in Pittsburgh, PA, October 30-November 1, 1997.
- Participated in the 1997 American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Forum "Pet Bird Welfare" in Rosemont Illinois. This was in keeping with UPC's effort to educate our members, the veterinary profession, and the public at large on the proper care and treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl as companion animals.
- Abolished the infamous "turkey olympics" in New Preston, Connecticut following a 4-year campaign against this cruel and desensitizing publicity stunt. This was in keeping with our mission to educate the public to support wholesome entertainment in which all participants are voluntary, and includes our support for the current voter initiative campaigns in Missouri and Arizona to ban cockfighting in those states.
- Held our 8th annual all-vegetarian Thanksgiving Party free and open to the public on November 22nd. Our party, with special rescued turkey guest-of-honor, Abigail, was appealingly aired on Fox Television, and The Washington Times did a magnificent cover story on November 27th, Thanksgiving Day.
- Launched our campaign to educate the American public about the forced molting--prolonged deliberate starvation--of hens used for egg production and the link between forced molting, immune system breakdown, and the food poisoning pathogen Salmonella enteritidis. Published an op-ed article, "Starving Hens for Profit Has Got to Stop," in newspapers around the country through the Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Service. Our campaign against forced molting is a major part of our expanding effort to educate the public about the demonstrated link between animal cruelty, food-borne contamination, and environmental pollution by the poultry industry and what people can do about it.
- Raised over $40,000.00 towards the purchase of property for our new headquarters and chicken sanctuary.
- Distributed a wealth of educational materials including brochures, fact sheets, handouts, books, booklets, posters, and videos, and our quarterly Newsletter PoultryPress. Donated literature to the schools and sponsored visits to our chicken sanctuary. Provided free information to students and teachers at all grade levels on poultry factory farming, vegetarian nutrition, cockfighting, providing a good home for chickens, environmental effects of the poultry industry, and alternatives to chick hatching programs.
In 1997, United Poultry Concerns was listed in the 16th Edition (1998) of The Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons: An Encyclopedia of Sources; and the 1997-1998 National Press Club of Washington Directory.
United Poultry Concerns maintains a permanent chicken and duck sanctuary and education center at our headquarters at 14331 Poplar Hill Road, Germantown, Maryland 20874. In 1997, we adopted chickens from the Montgomery County Humane Society, and other Washington, DC area animal shelters. United Poultry Concerns provides a full-time adoption, placement, and referral service, locally and nationally, for domestic fowl.
All this and much more was accomplished with your generous contributions in 1997. From all our dear feathered friends here at United Poultry Concerns, thank you for your invaluable and continued support.