<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

New Bill Proposed to Protect Chickens Needs Support 

I have written before about the fact that chickens (or any other birds, like turkeys) are not covered by the Humane Slaughter Act. This leaves them completely vulnerable to any sort of treatment, even the horrible abuse that I have devoted so much time and space to here on this blog.

I have also written about the fact that technology exists that would eliminate the vast majority of suffering for these chickens - an argon-based gas-stun/kill technology that kills the birds in the transport crates. Since they would be dead before the workers handled them and before they were slaughtered, they would not suffer the kinds of injuries that have been detailed here and many other places, especially the horrible fact that many are scalded alive every day.

Well, Senator Robert C. Byrd has spoken out about the urgent need for a bill that will bring chickens (and other birds) under the federal Humane Slaughter Act. UPC has written about this in their latest newsletter. The details can be found by clicking here.

While it would definitely be better if chickens were no longer slaughtered at all, this legislation would at least protect them from the very worst cases of abuse and mistreatment, which are (of course) totally unnecessary.

I hope that each of you checks this out and voices your support for this bill. You don't have to be an animal rights advocate to want to ensure that the poultry slaughtered for food is treated as humanely as possible. Even if you do continue to eat chicken, wouldn't you rather know that it was ensured to be treated as humanely as possible? Who wants chickens to suffer needlessly? It is surely not necessary or desirable, now is it?

Please contact your Members of Congress to urge them to sponsor and support this bill. While you are at it, thank Senator Byrd for his compassion and caring attitude toward the chickens by addressing the widespread abuse they endure before they end up on the plates of the public. The instructions for doing so are also on the site referenced above, or you can simply call the
Capital Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Or visit www.senate.gov or www.house.gov to learn who your Members of Congress are that represent you.

As I have also mentioned before, I have talked with some of the workers at the Tyson plant where I used to work about the use of the argon-based gas-stun/kill technology. They strongly support this idea. It will make their job on back dock much easier, reduce their injuries, and reduce the overwhelming stress and frustration they endure in this type of work that leads to the types of vicious abuse of the chickens that I have reported here.

So, by supporting such technology, you will help to improve the welfare of the chickens and improve working conditions for the workers. It is definitely a win-win situation! And, for those of you still eating meat, this technology even helps to improve the quality of the meat you buy. There is less bruising, fewer broken bones, and even less contamination, since the birds are dead before they are shackled and scalded. So, it even helps the meat-eaters. This really is a good way to reduce the level of contamination because the chickens that are scalded alive contaminate the others in the scalding tank with fecal matter, as I have also discussed before. Therefore, those who eat meat would be less likely to eat tainted meat and feed it to their children. Who doesn't want to protect the health of their kids?

Everyone wins if this gets passed. So, voice your support loudly and tell everyone you know to do the same. For the chickens! For the workers! For the kids! And even for yourself!

It's the right thing to do.

Now see, I even have made your good deed for today easy for you! :)
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