Action Alert

Carnegie Science Center Shuts Down Chick Hatchery Exhibit

UPC Protest Finally Pays Off

The Carnegie Science Center, located in Pittsburgh, PA, closed down its chick hatchery operation in late September due to its failure as an educational exhibit. Exhibit director Tom Flaherty told United Poultry Concerns that the hatchery wasn't meeting the center's "educational objectives any more so we stopped hatching chicks."

Lincoln, Sno-Pea and Luv-Bug
Photo by Mary Kelly
Lincoln, Sno-Pea and Luv-Bug
Photo by Jim Dunn

In February 2000, United Poultry Concerns launched a vigorous national campaign to prevent the hatchery exhibit from opening, followed by our national effort to close down the hatchery after it opened despite hundreds of protest letters. On April 22, 2000, United Poultry Concerns and Animal Advocates of Pittsburgh held an all-day Earth Day protest and candlelight Vigil at the Carnegie Science Center. We handed out educational leaflets to Carnegie patrons under the name of Citizens Against the Carnegie Chick Hatchery which explained why "a mechanical hatchery does not illustrate the natural life of chickens." We urged patrons to protest the hatchery for being unnatural, cruel, and misleading.

The birds were being hatched on a plastic grid in a desolate mechanical display supposed to show "the miracle of birth," "natural systems," and, most bizarrely, "where eggs come from," in a noisy carnival atmosphere. In a letter published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (March 14, 2000), United Poultry Concerns president Karen Davis said that the hatchery "should be closed down." We are pleased to report that our goal has been reached. We thank everyone who contacted the Carnegie Science Center urging that the chick hatchery be canceled. We are grateful for the center's decision.

What Can I Do?

Please urge the Boston Museum of Science to follow the example of the Carnegie Science Center by shutting down its chick hatchery exhibit. Last year the museum started hatching about 15 chicks per day under the heading of "The Human Body Connection." The chicks are reportedly then gassed and fed to other animal exhibits at the museum.

David Ellis, Director
Museum of Science
Science Park
Boston, MA 02114
Ph: 617-589-0100
Fax: 617-589-0454

A short polite firm letter sent by regular mail or fax is best if you have time. Request a written reply from Mr. Ellis.