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25 July 2001 Issue
Stop the Practice of Starving Birds for Egg Production

from John Goodwin - JGoodwin@hsus.org 

Support the Leahy-Fitzgerald Amendment to S 1191, the FY 2002 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. We need you to contact your two U.S Senators immediately to combat the forced molting of hens in egg production.

Forced molting is the practice of starving hens in order to shock their system into a new egg-laying cycle. Factory farmers routinely starve hens for a period ranging from three to fourteen days, forcing them into a new molt. Once placed back on feed-if they survive the starvation period, the hens will produce bigger eggs.

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) will introduce an amendment to S. 1191 to bar the USDA from spending tax dollars to purchase eggs from producers that use forced molting for the School Lunch Program.

Contact your two U.S. Senators and urge them to vote YES on the Leahy-Fitzgerald amendment. You may wish to make some of the following arguments.

* Forced molting is inhumane. Intentionally starving an animal is cruel Most anywhere in the nation an individual would be arrested for starving a dog or a cat in the way egg producers commonly starve hens. The birds lose up to 30% of their body weight during this starvation period.

* Forced molting is a threat to human health. Because the hens are starved, and so stressed, they are highly susceptible to salmonella infections. Eggs from hens that undergo forced molting are significantly more likely to carry, shed or transmit Salmonella enteritidis than hens that are allowed access to food and water. Children are most susceptible to salmonella poisoning. It just makes sense not to use eggs from producers that use forced molting in our school lunch program.

* Major fast food companies have recently stopped buying eggs from farms that use forced molting. McDonald's and Burger King have both announced that their egg producers are no longer allowed to force molt by starving birds. The Food Safety Inspection Service, which is part of the USDA, also recommends "egg producers eliminate forced molting practices and adopt alternatives that reduce public health risks."

This is our chance to have the USDA School Lunch program join large fast food chains such as McDonalds and Burger King, in saying no to the use of starvation as a means of increasing egg production.

Please contact both of your U.S. Senators immediately and ask them to SUPPORT the Leahy-Fitzgerald amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill. You can reach both of your U.S. Senators offices through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Phone calls and faxes are the best means of reaching your senators on this matter. Due to the fact this may come to a vote within days, letters may not arrive in time for this vote. Please make phone calls and ask everyone you know to make phone calls to their two U.S. Senators as well!

If you need assistance in identifying who your U.S. Senators are, or to get their fax number, please call the Humane Society of the U.S. at 202-955-3666.

Go on to Your Dog May Be Dying
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