Summer-Fall 2012 Poultry Press NEXT
Bookmark and Share
Does New Jersey Sanctuary Facilitate Quail Hatching Projects for School Children, Quail Hunters & Hunting Dog Training?
“We do in-school presentations with some of our animals. We also participate in the Quail in the Classroom program.” – Tamala Lester, email reply to NJ resident, June 18, 2012
quail family

The Barnyard Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization in Blairstown, New Jersey. Its stated mission is “to find a new home for displaced farm pets that have become homeless.” According to the website, “We rescue pet farm animals that have lost their homes. We will either relocate them to another home or sanctuary through our adoption and placement service, or keep them here on our farm.”

However, some of the sanctuary’s activities clash with its mission and with the purpose of a bona fide farm animal sanctuary. The Barnyard Sanctuary participates in a program called Quail in the Classroom, which uses New Jersey school children to incubate quails for release into the woods for hunters to shoot and train hunting dogs with.

In response to an email inquiry on June 20, Barnyard Sanctuary director Tamala Lester wrote back: “Quail in the Classroom is about hatching quail eggs for release into the wild instead of chicken eggs.”

Quail in the Classroom is part of the New Jersey Quail Project which is part of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, a state-run program that promotes hunting, fishing, and habitat manipulation for sport hunters and fishermen. The Quail in the Classroom website includes a photo gallery of quails being released for hunting dog training. “2011 Quail Release” describes the photos: “Quail were released in Colliers Mills & Stafford Forge Dog Training Areas and North Jersey.” Quail in the Classroom encourages school teachers and administrators: “A site visit is available to your school by a representative from the New Jersey Quail Project should you want to discuss the possibilities of hatching quail at your school for hardening and release.”

The Barnyard Sanctuary is part of this classroom quail-hatching-for-quail-hunting & dog training program.

The person in charge of The Barnyard Sanctuary’s educational programs is Michelle DuVal, a New Jersey school teacher and a member of The Barnyard Sanctuary’s Board of Directors. According to the website: “Michelle is excited about The Barnyard’s Meet What You Eat and Egg Hatching programs for school children and looks forward to helping bring them into the urban school districts.”

On June 21, United Poultry Concerns sent a letter to Tamala Lester stating our concerns about The Barnyard Sanctuary and inquiring about its Egg Hatching and Meet What You Eat programs. As we go to press, we await Ms. Lester’s response.

quail release

what_can_i_do (10K)

Please contact Barnyard Sanctuary Director Tamala Lester. Politely observe that a genuine farm animal sanctuary does not assist in creating a supply of quails for hunters to shoot and sic their dogs on; it does not join forces with a government agency whose purpose is the promotion of sport hunting, dog training/quail mauling exercises, and indoctrination of youth with NRA propaganda. A genuine farm animal sanctuary does not make fun of the very kinds of animals it claims to be helping, by representing them derisively as living food (“Meet What You Eat”).

Any organization that teaches children – and uses children – to breed, harm, disrespect, and kill animals is NOT a sanctuary. Urge Ms. Lester to discontinue The Barnyard Sanctuary’s participation in ALL egg hatching programs immediately. It is wrong for a sanctuary to bring animals into a world in which millions of animals are already abandoned and unwanted. It is wrong to encourage children to want to do that. A true sanctuary treats the animals in its care with compassion and respect. A true sanctuary teaches children and others, both by example and through its educational programs, to protect and respect all animals, which includes not eating or breeding them. CONTACT:

Tamala Lester, Founding Director
The Barnyard Sanctuary
PO Box 167
Blairstown, NJ 07825
Phone: 973-670-4477

New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Quail Project Website links:

Quail in the Classroom:
New Jersey Quail Project:
Quail Release Photo Gallery:

For more information about quails, order our brochure Japanese Quail. 20 for $3.00. It includes information about the natural life of quails and “Why Quails Should Not Be Hatched in the Classroom.” A longer version of the brochure, including information about quail hunting, a sadistic “sport,” is available on our website at

For more information about classroom bird-hatching projects, order Hatching Good Lessons: Alternatives to School Hatching Projects. $2.50 per booklet. $1.00 for orders of 5 or more. Also available on our website at

Summer-Fall 2012 Poultry Press NEXT