Spring/Summer 1998 Poultry Press
Killing of Chickens Shows Boy Scouts Need a Policy
In April about 65 Boy Scouts in Troop 890 located in Texas were unleashed on a flock of chickens obtained from a slaughterhouse. The boys hacked the chickens to death in a field as an exercise "to show how food gets to the table." The scoutmaster responsible for the killing told the press that the chickens "simply sat there until they were chosen for a meal." Of the 80 Scouts about 15 boys refused to participate. The Boy Scouts of America condemned the killing and said it wouldn't happen again: "Scouting's position is that killing an animal isn't part of any BSA program."

Based on this and other animal abuse episodes by Scouts including the stoning to death of a bear cub last year, the Boy Scouts of America needs to implement a formal policy prohibiting the maiming, killing, and use of animals by Scouts.

Illustration by Patricia Vandenbergh
What Can I Do?

What Can I Do?

  • Urge the Boy Scouts of America to implement a formal, standardized written policy prohibiting the maiming, killing, or other use of animals by Scouts on penalty of censure, demerit, and expulsion of the abuser, be he a scout or a scoutmaster. The policy should address both wildlife and domesticated animals and the award of merit badges. No merit badge award should require the use of animals. United Poultry Concerns joins People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in urging the Boy Scouts of America to award a merit badge of compassion to the scouts who refused to participate in the chicken slaughter.

    William Gamble, Scout Executive Boy Scouts of America
    8605 Harry Hies Blvd
    Dallas, TX 75235

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