United Poultry Concers
15 April 2010
Chickens Cruelly Spray-Painted at Carnegie Mellon University
“Beth McMaster, a wildlife rehabilitator in Butler County [Pennsylvania] who is caring for the birds, two of whom are sick, said it strikes her as a case of animal cruelty. She said the school owes the public an accounting of what happened and should punish whoever is responsible.” – “CMU looks into the case of spray-painted chickens” by Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 18, 2010

What Can I Do?

Carnegie Mellon University told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the university is investigating who is responsible for spraying these chickens with paint and releasing them in campus buildings, and that “disciplinary action” may be taken. Please join UPC in urging CMU’s president, Dr. Jared L. Cohon, that whoever did this brutal act be held accountable. Urge furthermore that CMU create, distribute and enforce a written Animal Abuse Policy prohibiting animal abuse practices on campus. Request a written reply.

Dr. Jared L. Cohon, President
Office of the President
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-268-2000
Email via CMU Website: www.cmu.edu/about/leadership/president/contact.shtml

UPC President Karen Davis's Letter to Dr. Cohon, April 9, 2010

Dear Dr. Cohon:

On behalf of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl, I am writing to you about the March 13, 2010 episode in which chickens were sprayed with paint and released on campus as reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 18, 2010.

The article “CMU looks into the case of spray-painted chickens” cited a university statement that “campus affairs staff members are gathering the facts to understand what happened on Saturday [March 13], when farm chickens were found in campus buildings. . . . If disciplinary action is warranted, it will be handled through the normal internal judicial process.”

We would like to know exactly what action the university is taking against the perpetrators of this animal cruelty episode. Under Pennsylvania animal cruelty law 5511(b), coloring, staining or dying chickens is illegal. Spray paint is toxic if ingested or inhaled at close range. At least one of these birds was reported to have been sprayed directly into her face. If students are responsible for this cruelty, we want to know that they are being identified and punished for it and that Carnegie Mellon University does not treat gratuitous cruelty to helpless animals as a “prank.”

My letter to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette “Cruelty is criminal” appeared on March 29.

We are eager to know and report to our members exactly what Carnegie Mellon University is doing about this episode and what steps are being taken to prevent its recurrence. Thank you for your attention. We look forward to your response.


Karen Davis, PhD, President
United Poultry Concerns
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
(757) 678-7875; fax: 678-5070

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