UPC Campaign to Eliminate Forced Molting

“Several Thousand Letters”

United Egg Producers, the U.S. egg industry's national trade group, has been deluged by mail demanding that the forced molting--deliberate starvation--of hens used for egg production be stopped. In the April 5, 1999 issue of Feedstuffs ("the weekly newspaper for agribusiness"), United Egg Producers reported that letter-writing campaigns mounted by United Poultry Concerns and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights have led to "several thousand" letters sent to United Egg Producers' headquarter office in Atlanta, Georgia.

Molting Closeup

“Rotten eggs”

In "Rotten eggs," New Scientist (Jan. 30, 1999: 14) reported on UPC's press conference on forced molting, January 20th, in Atlanta. Summing up the practice, it said, "But at last week's International Poultry Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, Karen Davis of the Virginia-based animal welfare group United Poultry Concerns said the practice makes chickens and their eggs more prone to Salmonella infection. Forced moulting is banned in Britain though still widespread in the US.

"Her claims are backed by Peter Holt from the US Department of Agriculture in Athens, Georgia. The Food and Drug Administration says it is considering the group's call for a ban."

UPC Urges FDA to Grant Forced-Molting Petition

In March, UPC wrote to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requesting the agency to reach a decision on our petition to ban forced molting and to notify us immediately. Last December, the FDA wrote to UPC president Karen Davis that it was still considering our petition filed in April 1998 by United Poultry Concerns and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights. The petition asks the FDA to ban forced molting based on documentation that starving the hens wrecks their immune systems resulting in Salmonella Enteritidis bacterial poisoning of the hens and their eggs.

What Can I Do?
  • Urge the FDA to grant the petition, filed under docket #98P- 0203/CP, that would eliminate the practice of forced molting.
    Dockets Management Branch
    Food & Drug Administration
    Dept. of Health & Human Services
    12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23
    Rockville, MD 20857

    Be sure to include docket #98P-0203/CP. This is the petition's ID Number. Keep After Them! Thank You!