Summer 2008 Poultry Press  

Chicken Slaughter Project at Canandaigua Academy in New York Stopped Due to Public Outrage

Canandaigua Academy rooster in NY Saved from classroom slaughter Dec. 12, 2007

Animal-rights activists from across the country lobbied school leaders to end the project portrayed by United Poultry Concerns and Canandaigua activist Joel Freedman as “a very cruel endeavor that never should have gone on in the first place.”
 -- Daily Messenger, May 25, 2008

In the previous issue of Poultry Press, we announced that on December 12, 2007, high school students slaughtered 21 chickens in an ecology class at Canandaigua Academy in upstate New York. We learned about this project from Canandaigua activist Joel Freedman, one of our members, who tried to stop it. He met with school administrators to plead for the lives of the birds, but only one was saved, a little rooster, pictured here in his new home at Farm Sanctuary.

After the slaughter, United Poultry Concerns wrote letters to school administrators urging that the project be permanently cancelled. In addition, we requested clarification of how exactly the butchery was conducted, in view of conflicting reports. Were the chickens beheaded with an ax or did the students cut their throats? Though no answers have been forthcoming, protest letters published in the Canandaigua Daily Messenger, and sent to school officials, led Canandaigua Academy Principal, Lynne Erdle, to announce in May that the project, based on a 4-H model, was being dropped from the curriculum.

UPC President Karen Davis, who announced the slaughter over the Internet in February (, published the following letter in the Canandaigua Daily Messenger on May 29, 2008:

I was grateful and profoundly relieved to receive an email from Canandaigua Academy Principal Lynne Erdle on May 20 confirming that the chicken slaughter project to which our organization objected was being eliminated from the curriculum.

In our letters to Ms. Erdle and other school administrators preceding the announcement, I and many of our members respectfully urged that slaughter be henceforth prohibited in the Canandaigua City School District in favor of life-preserving, compassionate and respectful teachings about birds and other animals who share our world.

I know that we spoke for many parents and students – and for the birds whose voices we heard – in making this request. I am happy that it was granted.

Karen Davis, PhD, President
United Poultry Concerns


  • You may send a brief, polite letter or email expressing your gratitude to:
    Mrs. Lynn Erdle, Principal
    Canandaigua Academy
    435 East Street
    Canandaigua, NY 14424

Summer 2008 Poultry Press