United Poultry Concerns August 23, 2000
From: Patty Mark <amag@netspace.net.au>

It's about midnight and I just returned from a four hour council meeting held in Geelong. Geelong Council was debating whether or not to grant EATMORE POULTRY a planning permit to build a 25 shed 'broiler factory city' that would 'house' one million birds...five batches a year with annual kill of five million animals. THEY REFUSED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a long debate with about 15 people speaking against it, after the company put up how wonderful it was all going to be. 193 objections were received. Tonights meeting virtually swayed it as the initial council document prior to the meeting suggested it would be approved. The 30 page Council document acknowledged "Many of the objections received regarding animal cruelty spoke of issues relating to battery hens. This application relates to Broiler chickens and not battery hens. Having said this however, animal welfare issues are not deemed to be a relevant planning matter."

I was the only person there who spoke on behalf of the chickens (and I only knew one other person in the room of about 50 people.) The local residents were very organised and spoke well. They focussed on noise, traffic, pollution, personal health and visual amenity of the area... but the most important thing to note is NOBODY obviously wants to live near these horror holes and until the animal movement gets more organised in this area it's the best hope the birds have.

I pointed out that broiler chickens were next on the list of being identified in the greater community as being abused animals in need. And that battery hens were 'hidden commodities' just a few years ago, but not any more, and the broiler's turn was next. I then detailed conditions our rescue team have found inside several broiler sheds, and that condoning cruelty was very much a community issue and quite relevant in planning matters.

The decision was unanimous by the four council members who commented how much they were swayed by the ability of the local residents to organise themselves and present a solid case with fact not emotion. They then added, however that they were impressed with EATMORE POULTRY's submission but their choice of location "was just in the wrong place" and invited them to find a different location, as people in the community wanted their products....

So.......... we still have a long way to go with this one, but at least it will be put off for awhile, and all in all would have cost Eatmore Poultry heaps.

Some points that came out

The sheds are depopulated at night from 11 pm til 4 am. An average truck (with six week old birds) carries approx 6,500 birds on one truck... this gets fewer as they take out birds two weeks later at a larger weight. First pick-up is at 37 days of age and final pick-up at 56 days of age. They plan/ned 40,000 birds per shed and expect 6% mortality. That's 200 dead birds PER DAY EVERY DAY from stress/starvation etc in their total batch of one million. The dead bodies were to be frozen and then taken off the property to be buried(to keep disease/odor/vermin at bay and the neighbors satisfied).

Lesson learned

we really have to make sure our supporters AND the public understand the difference between battery hens and broiler chickens...... AND the main way we'll get the message out is to get the visuals from INSIDE the sheds out before the public's eyes.

for animals, Patty

Previous Alert: 6/28/2000: Protest Geelong Broiler Shed Proposal

United Poultry Concerns. September 4, 2000

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(Planning Application For One Million Broiler Bird Factory Denied!)