A recent episode of the MTV show “Road
Rules” featured youngsters with a “survival” choice
of living in a cabin with food provided or living outdoors and killing
a chicken. According to a viewer who contacted UPC, one of the characters
began cutting the chicken’s throat with a knife, bringing
cries of pain and suffering from the bird. The character then killed
the chicken with an ax. The killing reportedly was aired up to the
point where the bird was decapitated.
What Can I Do
Protest to the show’s producers and to MTV’s owner,
Viacom. Tell your local TV stations not to run (or rerun) the chicken-killing
episode. Urge Mr. Murray, Ms. Bunim, and Mr. Karmazin to establish
and enforce a “No Animal Abuse” policy, and request
a written response. The creators of these “reality”
shows are using cruelty to animals unprotected by the Animal Welfare
Act – birds, rats, mice, and farmed animals – to get
ratings. Parents, teachers, religious individuals/groups and others
concerned about violence in society need to exert pressure on the
makers, owners, and distributors of these shows. UPC is currently
seeking legal clarification regarding these intentional violations
of state anti-cruelty laws.
Jonathan Murray and Mary Ellis Bunim, Executive Producers
6007 Sepulveda Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91411
Mel Karmazin, CEO
1515 Broadway, 52 Floor
New York, NY 10036
UPC Letter to Jonathan Murray, Executive Producer of “Road
I respectfully draw your attention to the recent “Road Rules”
episode in which a chicken was reportedly killed with a knife and
an ax. On behalf of United Poultry Concerns, a national nonprofit
organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment
of domestic fowl, I urge you to pull the reruns of this killing,
and to prohibit the making and airing of any further episodes of
animal abuse on your network programs.
Animal abuse episodes like this incite people without compassion
or conscience to imitate you. They sneak into refuges and zoos and
beat captive birds to death; they enter parks and lure geese with
food to beat them to death; they kill birds with meat cleavers for
“art,” and perform other acts of cowardly cruelty against
innocent creatures. Cruelty to animals is a crime in every state.
Recent court decisions, such as “people v. Thomason (2000)
84 Cal. Appellate 4th 1064, 1056-1066, have held that animals who
are legally classed as “killable” in one legal context
(e.g., as a danger to health or property) are not thereby to be
understood as being legally abandoned to animal abusers seeking
by the intentional infliction of suffering and death to sell videos
Please prohibit any further hurting and killing of birds and other
animals on “Road Rules” and any other shows over which
you have jurisdiction. Please establish a “No Animal Abuse”
policy, and enforce it. Will you do this, please?
I trust that you will set the standards requested and look forward
to your letter of response. Thank you for your attention.
Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.upc-online.org
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150