Winter 2008-2009 Poultry Press NEXT
UPC Campaign to Save Canandaigua Chickens Succeeds!

New York State Education Department Denies Application to “Terminate Life.”

Photo by: Farm Sanctuary
quake-and-vandross (99K)
Quake and Vandross rescued from Canandaigua and now residents of Farm Sanctuary

Following a year-long campaign to persuade Canandaigua Academy – a high school in upstate New York – to eliminate a project in which students butchered chickens in an ecology course, United Poultry Concerns learned on December 4 that the Education Department halted the project under NYS Education Law, Section 809 - Humane Treatment of Live Vertebrate Animals, which prohibits studies that employ “termination of life.”

Of the 25 baby chicks who were shipped inhumanely by airmail from a hatchery in Iowa to New York as “perishable matter,” the surviving 20 birds – severely overweight “broiler” chickens, most of them roosters with leg deformities and untreated foot sores – were picked up by Farm Sanctuary for permanent residence with the understanding that the class had been permanently cancelled.

Thus ended the saga that began in December 2007, when students illegally slaughtered 21 chickens in Eric Cosman’s ecology class, despite the pleading of Canandaigua activist, Joel Freedman, to show mercy and spare the birds.

It was subsequently disclosed that under NYS Education Law, Section 809, a school seeking to harm and kill animals must submit a waiver application to the Education Department for review. The department promptly suspended the project, following a letter from attorney Elinor Molbegott, legal counsel for the Humane Society of New York, on August 5, 2008, advising the department of the project, which had not been applied for or approved.

Photo by: Farm Sanctuary
tsunami-bumble (73K)
Chickens rescued from Canandaigua all had
bumble foot and pressure sores on their leg joints.
Informed of the law, the school district applied for a waiver, a copy of which was obtained by attorney Molbegott under a Freedom of Information Law request. The application showed that the school offered no legal justification for killing the chickens. The goals set forth did not meet waiver approval standards, and the application was denied.

On December 5, 2008, United Poultry Concerns issued a press release announcing the end of the “Chicken Project.” UPC President, Karen Davis, spoke for many people in stating, “It gives confidence to the humane community, which increasingly is all of society, that laws protecting sentient creatures from preventable harm are enforced, and that the animals themselves, be they chickens or dogs, are gathered within our circle of compassion where they belong.”

UPC thanks everyone who wrote to the Canandaigua School District and the New York State Department of Education opposing the project, with special thanks to Canandaigua Academy student activist Katie Barber,
Photo by: Farm Sanctuary
andre-hock (78K)
Andre had an infected leg joint.
Canandaigua activist & UPC member Joel Freedman, United Federation of Teachers Humane Education Committee Chairperson Dr. Sheila Schwartz, and New York attorney Elinor Molbegott. We are grateful to Farm Sanctuary for giving a permanent loving home to the fortunate survivors of the wretched and defunct “Chicken Project.”

whatcanido (19K)
You may thank the New York State Education Department on behalf of the Canandaigua Academy chickens and humane education, by sending a polite letter of gratitude to:

Dr. Ann Crotty
Associate in Science Education
Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Technology
New York State Department of Education
89 Washington Avenue, Room 320EB
Albany, NY 12234

Winter 2008-2009 Poultry Press NEXT