United Poultry Concers
25 March 2010
Environmental Group Mistreats Chickens to “Help” the Environment
Dogwood Initiative reps were “throwing chickens everywhere” in government office

This Action Alert was sent to United Poultry Concerns by LiberationBC, an animal rights group in Vancouver, British Columbia dedicated to liberating animals through education, outreach, and advocacy (http://liberationbc.org).

“We are not pleased with a local environmental group known as the Dogwood Initiative.  On Tuesday, March 23, 2010, they organized a demonstration against a B.C. provincial cabinet minister that involved throwing six chickens around a room for media attention. 

The protesters, allegedly trying to promote respect for the environment, used chickens as a symbol of being 'chicken,' and showed no regard for the welfare of the six innocent hens they were throwing around.

We're asking our members--and anybody else who loves birds and respects animals--to contact the Dogwood Initiative and protest. We’ve spoken to the Dogwood Initiative and they have been completely unrepentant, claiming it's a matter of ‘personal choice.’ 

You can read about it here:

From the article: ‘Protester Sophie Waterman said chickens were appropriate because [cabinet minister Ida] Chong is  too ‘chicken’ to talk, and squawks a lot but doesn't do anything.’

This callous disregard for the chickens is unacceptable from an organization claiming to promote environmentalism and an ethical approach to nature.”

What Can I Do?

Please write to the Dogwood Initiative and tell them this abuse of chickens (or any other animals) is not acceptable. There are better ways to make their point than by subjecting sensitive animals to stress and possible injury. Chickens are as deserving of ethical treatment as anyone else on this planet, they are not responsible for human degradation of the earth, and chickens are not “chicken” either. The only “chickens” in this matter were the cowardly abusers of small, helpless birds. Also, please leave a Comment on the newspaper article. UPC posted a Comment this morning.

Dogwood Initiative Contact Information
Phone 250.370.9930
Fax 250.370.9990

Thank you from United Poultry Concerns and Liberation BC!

26 March 2010
Dogwood Initiative Apologizes for Chicken Abuse Episode;
Takes “full responsibility” and is “taking steps to
ensure the birds are adopted by a humane home”

Dear Charles,

Thank you very much for your apology and press release condemning the mistreatment of the chickens on Tuesday March 23rd. We deeply appreciate your taking this matter seriously and repudiating it as a strategy to help the environment.

Sincerely, Karen Davis, President, United Poultry Concerns

----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Campbell
To: Karen Davis
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: [UPC] Environmental Group Mistreats Chickens to "Help" the Environment

Dear Karen,

Dogwood sincerely apologizes for its role in this action and takes full responsibility. Here is a statement from our Executive Director, Will Horter, that we are releasing to the press. 


Executive Director of Dogwood Initiative's response to the controversy around releasing chickens in Ida Chong's Office.

Dogwood Initiative apologizes for the release chickens in Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong's office on Tuesday, March 23 during a rally to protect forest lands and stop reckless development on Southern Vancouver Island.

Dogwood initiative prides itself on its ability to catalyze individuals to take action on issues that concern them and when required to step outside of conventional channels that have been proven not to work.

Although the idea of releasing chickens in response to Ida Chong's refusal to respond to community concerns over reckless development did not originate with Dogwood Initiative, the student activists that released the birds do have an association with Dogwood and we therefore deem ourselves responsible for their actions. Proper institutional controls were not in place to ensure that actions at this rally were appropriate. As Executive Director of Dogwood Initiative, I accept full responsibility for this and have taken steps to ensure that appropriate checks and balances are in place in the future.

The fact that some people feel they need to resort to unusual actions is indicative of the level of frustration that local citizens feel over the BC government's handling of the removal of 28,000 hectares of land from Western Forest Product’s tree farm licenses.

As the Auditor General clearly stated, the government created the problem by failing to protect the public interest, deficient consultation with affected parties, and insufficient due diligence of WFP’s finances as well as accepting the dubious rationale that making the lands available for reckless development would protect forest jobs.

To date local Minister’s Chong and Coell have not responded to community concerns, nor taken a leading role in solving the problems their government created. Tensions will continue to escalate until the government steps forward and works with the CRD and community groups to solve the problem. Dogwood Initiative will continue to work with all parties to develop and implement a lasting and sustainable resolution that will protect forest lands and stop reckless development on Southern Vancouver Island.

Concerns have been raised about the welfare of the chicken released. We have investigated and determined that the chickens were not harmed during the event. We regret any distress that the chickens may have experienced during the event. The chickens are now Victoria’s Animal Control and we are taking steps to ensure that the birds are adopted by a humane home.

Will Horter
Executive Director, Dogwood Initiative
Charles Campbell
Communications Director
Dogwood Initiative
w. 250 370 9930 ext 22
c. 250 858 9990
e. charles@dogwoodinitiative.org

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