The Battle Over Battery Hens

United Poultry Concerns and the Association of Veterinarians Hold News Conference to Highlight Forced Molting Abuse

On January 20th, while poultry producers convened for their annual International Poultry Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, UPC and AVAR held a news conference to expose the industry-wide practice of starving hens known as forced molting. Speakers included Karen Davis, PhD, president of United Poultry Concerns; Laurie Siperstein, DVM, avian specialist, AVAR; Murry Cohen, MD; and Roger Caras, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) president and former ABC-TV Special Correspondent. The speakers called upon egg producers to end the forced molting of hens, citing the link between starving the birds and causing disease.

The news conference was attended by the Atlanta-based CBS television station WGNX, Feedstuffs ("the weekly newspaper of agribusiness") editor Sarah Muirhead, animal advocates, and representatives from the poultry & egg industry. Each attendee received a full press packet including UPC and AVAR's petition to the Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to ban the practice of starving hens for profit. Forced molting is so cruel it destroys the hens' immune system and is a major cause of Salmonella food poisoning. In every respect, Roger Caras told the audience, "The poultry & egg industry is a savage industry."

This was the first news conference ever held on forced molting. We wish to thank everyone who joined us in speaking out for the millions of hens being starved in their cages by the unregulated US egg industry.