Action Alert

Protest Guinea Fowl Drop from Flying Aircraft

Quitaque, Texas Publicity Bid is a Sick Stunt

"We want them to stop dropping live, conscious creatures from planes as part of their entertainment. Why would anyone want to put a bird in that kind of situation anyway?"
– Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns
The Dallas Morning News, June 1,1997

The Quitaque, Texas Chamber of Commerce droped two Guinea Fowl from a flying airplane as part of their National Trails Day celebration on June 7th. The birds were hurled from a plane going 85+ mph, from 500 feet above ground, then chased by fifty kids for the $100 coupons strapped to their legs. According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, the second bird (whom the reporter watched and described to UPC in an interview) was visibly stressed and had to be "calmed" by the president of the Chamber of Commerce in front of the TV cameras.

Buinea fowl are shy, excitable birds and they are poor flyers. They never rise to the 500-foot or more altitude required by the FAA for overhead aircraft in their normal roosting and feeding activities. It is alien to a bird's evolutionary experience to be dropped from a flying plane. Being pulled from a dark cage and thrust suddenly into bright air imposes visual adjustment problems. Being dropped straight down from a 500-foot+ moving height is totally different for a bird biologically than taking off from a branch, a roof, or the ground. So if flying voluntarily versus being forced to maneuver an unnatural airborne situation. These birds could easily sustain unseen internal unjuries including hemorrhage. They could be crippled or killed in the trauma and terror of being dropped followed by being chases. Some of the birds dropped in previous years disappeared, perhads to die a slow miserable death.

There is no connection between "national trails day" and dropping living creatures from an airplane. If the Chamber of Commerce is set on dropping something and injecting some human challenge into the activity, they can drop an inanimate object that lands indeterminately, like biodegradable balsam-wood airplanes. This town needs some creative ideas!

A few years ago the Yellville, Arkansas Chamber of commerce eliminated its annual "turkey drop" from flying aircraft as a result of national outrage. The Chamber will no longer "sponsor or sanction the dropping of live turkeys from airplanes and has not done so for a number of years."

What Can I Do?

  • The purpose of dropping guinea fowl from an airplane is to make a vulnerable creature liable to fear, injury, and death and to relish the spectacle. The Quitaque Chamber of Commerce is soliciting a base personality trait to attract attention and money to a town of 500 people. We need volunteers to go to Quitaque, Texas next June. If you are interested in joining UPC president Karen Davis in protesting in Quitaque in 1998, please contact United Poultry Concerns as soon as possible.

  • Mayor James Davidson is poopsed to the "quinea fowl drop." Please thank him and urge him to use his influence to stop this stupid cruelty. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Contact: Major James Davidson, P.O. Box 534, Quitaque, TX 79255 (ph: 806-455-1441; fax 1222).

  • Roye Pigg, President of the Chamber of Commerce, is the promoter of the guinea fowl drop. Express your views to Mr. Pigg. Request a reply and be ready to answer back. Contact: Roye Pigg, President, Quitaque Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 53, Quitaque, TX 79255 (ph: 806-455-1200; fax 806-455-1228 or 1298).

  • Urge the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal to take an editoral stand against the guinea fowl drop. Contact: Letters to the Editor, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, P.O. Box 491, Lubbock, TX 79409 (oh: 806-762-8844; fax 744-9603).