Ban Live Chick Hatching Projects in Schools
Action Alert from All-Creatures.org

FROM

UPC United Poultry Concerns
August 2017

ACTION

Hatching projects encourage the view that animals are disposable objects instead of requiring a lifetime of care and commitment. They encourage children to want to bring more baby animals into the world, like litters of puppies and kittens no one wants when the animals grow up.

baby chick

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We hereby call upon Rt Hon Justine Greening MP - The Secretary of State for Education - to bring an immediate end to "The Living Eggs Project"* (and any other similar private enterprises) in state education establishments. This is for the following reasons:

  1. The project represents the exploitation of animals for profit, with no concern for their welfare interests.
  2. Many of the chicks and ducklings born as a result of these projects suffer serious adverse welfare consequences, including abandonment and death.
  3. It gives school children a false view of the value of animal lives, and which fails to address the importance of providing for their welfare interests long-term and not just for the brief period of a school project.
  4. Animal sanctuaries cannot cope with the amount of birds which are abandoned as a result of these projects, it puts an unnecessary strain on their resources.

* "The Living Eggs Project" is a for-profit private enterprise which sells 'incubation kits' (with fertilised eggs) to state schools for chicks to be born in the classroom environment for a brief project on life cycles. Similar private enterprises also use duck eggs.

INFORMATION

From UPC's Hatching Good Lessons: Alternatives To School Hatching Projects

Some teachers place fertilized eggs in classroom incubators to be hatched within three or four weeks as a lesson in embryonic development. Chickens, ducks and quails are typically used in these projects. We urge teachers to replace bird-hatching projects with learning activities that teach life processes without the use of live animals.

Hatching projects encourage the view that animals are disposable objects instead of requiring a lifetime of care and commitment. They encourage children to want to bring more baby animals into the world, like litters of puppies and kittens no one wants when the animals grow up. They place a burden on animal shelters and busy parents who can’t keep the birds, and zoning ordinances often prohibit the keeping of chickens, particularly roosters, even though more than half of all surviving chickens are likely to be roosters. And while children should be learning the importance of veterinary care for animals who depend on them, most schools do not provide veterinary care for the many birds born sick and deformed in these projects.

Hatching-project birds are deprived of a mother hen. This is a big reason why so many classroom chicks are sickly, dehydrated and crippled at birth. Chick organs often stick to the sides of the shell as a result of not being turned properly in the mechanical incubator. By contrast, a mother hen turns each of her eggs, individually, as often as 30 times a day, using her body, her feet and her beak to move each egg precisely to maintain the proper temperature, moisture, ventilation, humidity and positioning of each embryo she is sitting on. The embryo signals its needs to her, and the hen responds with the necessary adjustment of her eggs.

Salmonella infection of students and teachers is also a factor. More and more children have egg allergies and complications of seasonal flues and vaccines. Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean of the Graduate Program in Public Health at the State University of New York, says due to “insufficient regulation of the poultry industry,” Salmonella is “widespread among chickens and other poultry.” The risk of infection, he says, is “especially high for young children who come into contact with baby chicks and ducklings” (“Salmonella Common in U.S. Poultry,” The Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2009).

For all of these reasons, teachers are strongly encouraged to replace hatching projects with programs and activities that teach life cycles and inspire students to appreciate, respect, and learn about the amazing life of birds on our planet and in their own neighborhoods.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!


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