United Poultry Concerns PO Box 150 Machipongo, VA 23405

Phone: 757-678-7875 Fax: 757-678- 5070 www.upc-online.org

May 19, 2004

UPC Brings You the Following Five News Updates

Foie Gras bill passes California Senate 21-14!

Earlier this year, California lawmaker, Senate Pro Tem John Burton, introduced SB 1520, a bill that would ban force-feeding of ducks and geese to make foie gras in California. The bill would also ban the sale of foie gras made from the diseased livers of force-fed ducks and geese. Burton told the Sacramento Bee (3/1/04), “We shouldn't be cramming a tube down a duck's throat and forcing in food to make foie gras.” Happily, the California Senate and its constituents agree! The bill, which on Tuesday (3/17) passed the California Senate 21-14, now goes to the California Assembly to be assigned to a committee. After the committee vote, the bill will go to the full Assembly for a vote. If the bill passes the Assembly and is signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, California will become the first state to ban the force-feeding of ducks and geese to produce foie gras.

For more information about foie gras, click on www.NoFo i eGras.com

In Austria, A Complete Ban on Battery-Hen Cages is Possible!

Martin Balluch reports from Austria that a complete ban on battery-hen keeping is within reach in Austria thanks to a major successful ongoing campaign including hen rescues, strong media coverage, street demonstrations, a letter-writing campaign to the government, and support by the Green Party and the social democrats. The Austrian campaigners are seeking a ban on cages separate from the European Commission (EC), which will only ban old cages by 2013, and then still allow “enriched” cages that are basically no bigger than standard cages, but have scratch material, a sitting stick and some sort of nest in each little prison. In contrast, the Austrian campaign demands a ban on keeping hens in cages altogether, never mind how “enriched” or how “big.”

For more information, click on


See also: http://www.upc-online.org/battery_hens/51804austria.htm

See also: http://www.upc-online.org/nr/21704henspdf.htm

Better Business Bureau Rules Egg Ads Mislead Consumers

The Associated Press reported on May 10, 2004 that the Better Business Bureau's New York-based National Advertising Review Board, its highest authority on advertising issues, recommended that the US trade group United Egg Producers either discontinue labeling eggs as “animal care certified,” or significantly alter their advertisements to stop misleading consumers. Noting such standard egg-industry practices as debeaking, forced molting by food deprivation, and crowding of hens so severe they can't spread their wings, the BBB ruling states: “It is unimaginable that consumers would consider treatment they find ‘unacceptable' to be humane.” The ruling stems from a complaint by the Washington DC-based group Compassion Over Killing, which took the consumer fraud issue to the Better Business Bureau in response to the United Egg Producers Animal Care Certified advertising campaign launched two years ago. Compliance with the BBB recommendations is voluntary, but groups that refuse to comply are normally referred to the Federal Trade Commission or the Food and Drug Administration for further investigation.

For more information, click on http://www.upc-online.org/industry/51704bbb.htm

BBC Denounced By British Poultry Council

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has been accused of misleading the public over the poor welfare conditions of “broiler” chickens following the Food Police programme aired on February 18, 2004. In a letter of complaint lodged on the BBC website on March 1, chief executive of the British Poultry Council (BPC), Peter Bradnock, complained on behalf of the council about the use of secret filming and commentary by the pressure group Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), which documented lameness and other suffering of birds caused by forced unnatural growth rates, weak skeletons, and filthy living conditions. Bradnock complained that the BBC program failed to mention “the great improvements” [?] the industry has achieved and questioned the impartiality of the programme director who “admitted she didn't eat meat on animal welfare grounds.” [If she did eat meat, she would then be impartial? – UPC Editor]

To learn more, click on: http://www.upc-online.org/broiler/51704bbc.htm

See also: http://www.upc-online.org/broiler/112803uk.htm

Poultry Litter is Loaded with Antibiotic-Resistant Genes

A study published on April 19, 2004 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the waste left behind by flocks of chickens raised in industrial chicken houses is loaded with genes called integrons that promote the spread and persistence of clusters of antibiotic resistance genes. Litter begins as bedding material of shavings placed in commercial “broiler” chicken houses before the chicks are brought into the houses. By the time the birds are sent to slaughter six weeks later, the shavings have become mixed with chicken manure including excretory uric acid, feathers, insects, small invertebrates [and decomposing chickens – UPC Editor]. Poultry litter is often recycled for fertilizer [and fed to cattle – UPC Editor].

To learn more, click on http://w w w.upc-online.org/broiler/51704litter.htm

See also: http://upc-online.or g /health/11404notsafe.htm

See also: http://upc-online.o r g/fouling.html


Plan to attend UPC's 5 th Annual Forum on “Mad Cows To Mad Chickens”

For complete schedule and registration information, click on


United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. www.UPC-online.org