January 1999
Contact: Karen Davis at (757) 678-7875
Teri Barnato at (530) 759-8106
United Poultry Concerns Press Conference
Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights
News Conference to Highlight Poultry Abuses

Atlanta - While poultry producers convene for their annual International Poultry Exposition in Atlanta, experts from national animal protection groups will hold a news conference to expose the industry-wide practice of starving hens known as forced molting.

  • Date: Wednesday, January 20
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Place: Omni Hotel at CNN Center, bottom level in the Jarrett Room

Roger Caras, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) President and former ABC-TV Special Correspondent, will call upon egg producers to immediately end the forced molting of their chickens, citing laws that prohibit depriving animals of sustenance. He points out that, while starving cats and dogs is illegal, few laws protect chickens raised for food. Egg producers starve millions of "laying" hens for up to 14 days at a time in order to increase their productivity once they are again allowed access to food. Starving the birds suppresses their immune systems and makes them (and their eggs) more susceptible to salmonella infection.

"We take this matter extremely seriously," says Caras, the author of more than 60 books about animals. "We will use all the power vested in us to respond to any known instance of induced molting." USDA immunologist Peter Holt has reported, "Molting, in combination with a Salmonella infection, created an actual disease state in the alimentary tract of affected hens."

Other Speakers will include:

  • Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns
    Topic: "Why We Petitioned the Federal Government to Ban Forced Molting: USDA & FDA's 'Proactive' Initiative"

  • Louis Clark, Executive Director, Government Accountability Project
    Topic: "Up For Grabs: Federal Oversight of the Food Industry Under the New HACCP Reforms"

  • Laurie Siperstein, DVM, Avian Veterinary Consultant, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights
    Topic: "Effects of Forced Molting on the Health of Laying Hens"

  • Murry J. Cohen, M.D., Co-Chair, Medical Research Modernization Committee
    Topic: "The Price of Eggs When You Starve the Birds"

Cal-Maine egg company employee testimony, video footage, and photographs of factory-farmed hens will be available.

For more information visit the United Poultry Concerns web site:
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150

(UPC/AVAR Forced Molting Press Conference - January 20, 1999)