Summer 2000 Poultry Press Action Alert

"Carnegie, with its vast resources, can easily come up with something worthwhile to replace the pitiful sight of baby birds struggling to emerge from their shells without the help that a mother hen provides. What kind of a lesson is that?"

- Karen Davis, President, United Poultry Concerns, News Release, April 17, 2000.

As many of you know, the Carnegie Science Center installed a chick hatchery as part of its new children's amusement park-style science program in February. Upon learning about the plan, United Poultry Concerns quickly joined forces with Animal Advocates of Pittsburgh to try to stop the hatchery before it opened, but we were unsuccessful.

We are determined to close down the hatchery. Following our national Action Alert (thanks to all of you who wrote to the Center's director opposing the hatchery!), UPC and Animal Advocates prepared an information brochure, "Citizens Against the Carnegie Chick Hatchery: Unnatural * Cruel * Misleading." Thousands of these brochures have already been handed out to people throughout the Pittsburgh area, explaining that the Center will produce at least 2000 unwanted motherless chicks every year in a society that already kills millions of unwanted animals every years in pounds and shelters. The Center takes no responsibility for these chicks once they leave the Center. If we oppose pet overpopulation, we cannot condone the production of an endless stream of baby animals, which encourages people to produce even more baby animals.

* Citizens Against the Carnegie Chick Hatchery is a coalition of local and animal protection groups including United Poultry Concerns, Animal Advocates, Inc. of Pittsburgh, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Mobilization for animals (Western PA Chapter), and Friends of animals-University of Pittsburgh.

What Can I Do?
    Help end the suffering of the chicks at the Science Center by calling the Center's Director, Seddon Bennington, at 412-237-3400. Ask him to replace the hatchery with a humane alternative. Please write a short letter to Mr. Bennington and to the Center's Marketing Director, Mark Trumbull, and express your objections to the mechanical hatchery exhibit. Mr. Bennington and Mr. Trumbull can both be reached at: Carnegie Science Center
    One Allegheny Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15212
    Fax: 412-237-3375 (hardcopy letters are best)

    Even if you already wrote a letter, please write again. Persistent public outcry is critical.

    Earth Day Protest, Candlelight Vigil Opposes Carnegie Chick Hatchery. On April 22, United Poultry Concerns and Animal Advocates of Pittsburgh held an all-day protest in front of the Carnegie Science Center. Armed with candles, banners, signs, press kits, and handout literature, 50 protestors urged the elimination of the hatchery, a cruel mockery of Earth Day. Our protest received excellent TV news coverage on NBC that night, and Reuters wrote an article stating that "Animal rights activists have branded the exhibit as a tourist gimmick that artificially produces orphan chicks never to feel the protection of a mother's wing."

    According to Reuters, "'It's conveying a negative message because children are not seeing the real needs these birds have,' said Karen Davis, of United Poultry Concerns. . . . 'They need their mothers. The mother hen's behavior is entirely caring and nurturing,' she said."

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