United Poultry Concerns August 9, 2001
Good News from United Poultry Concerns
The following article appeared in Egg Industry magazine, July 2001.
Egg Industry is the national trade magazine for the U.S. egg industry
By John Todd, Editorial Consultant

We all know now about the Maryland egg complex [ISE-America] that was hit by the latest animal welfare terrorists. This is the latest in a string of activities by these groups of so-called do-gooders. It is alarming to think that people actually broke into the premises of a large egg complex, took pictures and wrote a story that was extremely damaging to the whole industry. The story was given to the Washington Post and published on June 6. Written by Lori Montgomery, a Post staff writer, the article goes through the entire episode from the admission of a clandestine entry by the activist group to interviews with the complex manager and even a quote from Don Bell [retired poultry researcher, University of California, Riverside] that was taken out of context ["If you crowd your chickens too much, they will lay fewer eggs and have higher mortality"]. The article can be found on the web at: www.washingtonpost.com:--Activists Accuse Egg Farm of Cruelty.

To add fuel to the fire, the involved activist group called "Compassion Over Killing" actually put up a web site explaining the problems they feel are paramount at the Maryland complex. Miyun Park is the President of Compassion Over Killing (COK) which is a Washington-based animal rights organization. They are just one of about 400 different groups in the United States that are addressing the animal welfare question. These groups are protected from taxation in this country under the Internal Revenue Service rule 501(3). Among the largest and most familiar with our industry are PETA, Humane Society [The Humane Society of the United States], Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, United Poultry Concerns, and on and on. Park of COK was quoted in the Washington Post saying, "If consumers knew how animals are abused by the egg industry, they would never eat eggs."

It is common knowledge about the activists' efforts to change McDonald's policy on buying eggs. Producers must now have a different size cage and other additions to satisfy their rules. Others are working on no cages at all, as in the European industry. There seems to be an endless parade of issues confronting egg producers and it is very political. Maryland, where the illegal entry was made, is elevating cruelty to animals from a misdemeanor to a felony. Maryland's Governor Glendening has signed the law that takes effect October 1.

Several new terms have surfaced during this recent series of activities. Have you heard the word "sentient"? This means, "with feeling." Also the term "Vegan" is being used frequently. This is the way the people in these organizations want to be called. They are advocating the vegetarian way of life and have chosen animal agriculture, or the elimination of it, as their way to save the world. This means no meat, no milk and especially no eggs.

There is a web site called, Veg-source.com. In fact, there seems to be hundreds of sites to look at the efforts being made to change the way we eat. Another interesting web site to visit is animalrights2001. A conference will be held in the near future on the subject [WATT POULTRY SUMMIT IV Focusing on Bird Welfare in the Commercial Layer Industry, October 16, 2001, Hyatt Regency, Lake Las Vegas Resort, Las Vegas, NV].

The top 22 animal welfare activist groups in this country generate an astounding $168 million for their activities. The Humane Society [of the US] has 7.3 million members and collects $36.6 million. PETA is right up there with donations of $14 million. Not all of this is going against the egg industry, but when you read about some of the antics being done against us, it creates some serious questions that need to be addressed.

The egg industry has some very productive programs ongoing to address these issues through the offices of AEB [American Egg Board] and UEP [United Egg Producers]. Included is the UEP Washington staff that is tireless in their efforts to set the record straight. Many volunteer groups such as the Scientific Committees assigned to animal welfare have contributed countless hours to working on the problem. Is it enough? Considering the overwhelming numbers being thrown at the industry in money and people, would it be beneficial to increase the numbers from the egg industry side also? Could more resources be assigned to fighting the adverse activities and publicity of the "Vegan" groups? We would hope so.

Be sure to attend the Watt Publishing Summit on this very topic in October. The Summit will be held October 16th the day prior to the UEP annual meeting.

*United Poultry Concerns Editor's Note: All bracketed material within this article was provided by UPC for clarification.

United Poultry Concerns. August 9, 2001

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(Egg Industry Magazine: Animal Welfare Will Not Go Away )

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