Moo-ving people toward compassionate living
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Mohandas Gandhi
"Our lives began and end the day we become silent things that matter" ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Originally Posted: July 10, 2012
Please contact Barnyard Sanctuary Director Tamala Lester. Tell her to discontinue The Barnyard Sanctuary’s participation in ALL egg hatching programs immediately. A true sanctuary teaches children and others, by example and through its educational programs, to protect and respect all animals, which includes not eating or breeding them.
Tamala Lester, Founding Director
The Barnyard Sanctuary
PO Box 167
Blairstown, NJ 07825
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
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.”
Shockingly, 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 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. (See UPC’s letter below.)
UPC’s Letter to Tamala Lester, June 21, 2012:
Dear Ms. Lester:
We recently learned about The Barnyard Sanctuary. We are a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. Our programs include a sanctuary for chickens and other domestic fowl on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. As you can imagine, we are always looking for good homes for birds in need of permanent sanctuary and refuge. For this reason, we were happy to discover The Barnyard Sanctuary as a possibility for adoptions outside our area. However, we have some questions.
It appears that The Barnyard Sanctuary promotes Egg Hatching programs for
school children. We have never heard of a bona fide animal sanctuary
facilitating breeding and bringing animals into the world when so many are
always in need of homes and will never find one. One of our most important
humane education programs is providing teachers, parents, and school
administrators with alternatives to classroom chick hatching projects. We
developed our program in 1994 in response to the many problems that we and
other sanctuaries have dealt with and continue to deal with as a result of
these programs. Please read:
It appears that The Barnyard Sanctuary participates in the New Jersey Quail Project and is working with the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance to hatch quails in classrooms for hunting dog training. Is this true? Please explain what this means: “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.” “Hardening” the quails?
Your website advertises a program called “Meet What You Eat.” (Don’t you mean: Meet WHO You Eat?) Please explain what this means. Does The Barnyard Sanctuary promote the perception of chickens and other “farm pets” as commodities and consumables? Are you affiliated with animal product producers and retailers? Please clarify.
Thank you for your attention. We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns
Thank you for everything you do for animals!