"Several Thousand Letters"
United Egg Producers, the U.S. egg industry's national trade
group, has been deluged by mail demanding that the forced
molting--deliberate starvation--of hens used for egg production
be stopped. In the April 5, 1999 issue of Feedstuffs ("the weekly
newspaper for agribusiness"), United Egg Producers reported that
letter-writing campaigns mounted by United Poultry Concerns and
the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights have led to
"several thousand" letters sent to United Egg Producers'
headquarter office in Atlanta, Georgia.
In "Rotten eggs," New Scientist (Jan. 30, 1999: 14) reported
on UPC's press conference on forced molting, January 20th, in
Atlanta. Summing up the practice, it said, "But at last week's
International Poultry Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, Karen Davis
of the Virginia-based animal welfare group United Poultry
Concerns said the practice makes chickens and their eggs more
prone to Salmonella infection. Forced moulting is banned in
Britain though still widespread in the US.
"Her claims are backed by Peter Holt from the US Department
of Agriculture in Athens, Georgia. The Food and Drug
Administration says it is considering the group's call for a
UPC Urges FDA to Grant Forced-Molting Petition
In March, UPC wrote to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
requesting the agency to reach a decision on our petition to ban
forced molting and to notify us immediately. Last December, the
FDA wrote to UPC president Karen Davis that it was still
considering our petition filed in April 1998 by United Poultry
Concerns and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights.
The petition asks the FDA to ban forced molting based on
documentation that starving the hens wrecks their immune systems
resulting in Salmonella Enteritidis bacterial poisoning of the
hens and their eggs.