United Poultry Concerns
PO Box 150 • Machipongo, VA 23405-0150


23 February 2006

Karen Davis 757-678-7875

“Community Standards” Make Ridgeland Chicken Drop Okay, Says DA
United Poultry Concerns (UPC) Condemns Chicken Drop

The Dunn County News article 02/26/06, “Despite ruffled feathers, chickens fly in Ridgeland,” by Meagan Frank, can be read at:

For United Poultry Concerns’ News Release, 02/13/06, click on http://www.upc-online.org/nr/21306chickenflying.html

The “chicken drop” took place in Ridgeland, Wis. on Feb. 18, despite animal advocacy efforts to stop it. To celebrate Ridgeland’s 24th annual Winter Pioneer Day, “two men, perched eight feet above onlookers, threw one bird, or at most two at a time, from the crates and bags that surrounded them,” according to The Dunn County News article on the event, which noted that “video cameras and photographers littered the crowd.”

About 50 chickens, mostly roosters, were thrown to meet “varied fates,” in frigid weather, the article said, “despite pleas from organizations like United Poultry Concerns of Virginia, The United States Humane Society [HSUS], and Animal Law Associates of Wisconsin, represented by Madison attorney Anne Daugherty-Leiter.”

At least one chicken was “apparently” injured in the stunts designed in part to “distribute expendable roosters crowding local henhouses.” But “because there were no veterinarians on the scene, it is unknown how many, if any, chickens were injured during the event,” the article said.

The article deflected attention from the animal abuse with language aimed at making festival participants appear to be victims: a catcher was the “object of rooster wrath,” and catchers “ran the risk of being clawed and pecked” and hit by “flying feathers and excrement.”

On the eve of the event, UPC president Karen Davis spoke to Dr. Albert Horvath of the Ridgeland Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Horvath said he’d seen 3 or 4 chicken drops in the past, had heard that at least one chicken broke a leg one year, and that he would not attend this year’s event. Of the chickens, Dr. Horvath told UPC, “I think there’s fear, I think there’s anxiety.”

According to Dr. Horvath, who did not seem personally to support the chicken drop, these are “the lucky chickens,” because their farm life is so typically bad that the chicken drop could enable some chickens to find “good homes.” However, his description to UPC of 32 years of veterinary practice specializing in dairy cows and other animals did not give hope for most chickens in a town where intentionally mistreating birds for fun is, according to Dunn County District Attorney James Peterson, not “mistreatment by community standards.”

For additional articles, see: http://www.thepearsonplace.com/articles.php?id=16.
And http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=15075.

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

Don’t just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.

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