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From 1 February 2004 Issue

Chickens Killed Inhumanely In A Wood Chipper and The Role Of The American Veterinary Medical Association

From Meowvet@aol.com

On February 20, 2002, approximately 30,000 live chickens were put into a wood chipper and inhumanely torn to bits. A veterinarian working with the Exotic Newcastle Task Force gave the order to destroy the chickens in the wood chipper, in violation of the American Veterinary Medical Association's humane euthanasia procedures.

All the evidence compiled by the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services points to Dr. Greg Cutler, a veterinarian working temporarily for USDA on the outbreak. In an interview with Officer May Kay Gagliardo, Cutler admitted he authorized killing the chickens in the wood chipper.

He even described how the chickens would die and, when asked if this was humane, he responded, "absolutely." When Ms. Gagliardo asked him for his title, he responded, "Emperor of the World." Later, in an interview in DVM magazine, Cutler expressed that his "only regret" was speaking to the County investigators and the media.

Meanwhile, despite all of the evidence identifying Cutler as the veterinarian who ordered this unspeakable, violent and inhumane destruction of helpless chickens, he still sits on the American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Committee. To date, it is unlikely that he will be removed.

Fast forward to January, 2004. In an interview with DVM magazine, Dr. Bruce Little, Executive Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association, commented that Cutler's removal from the Animal Welfare Committee would not be necessary because the Committee focuses only on companion animals. Since one of the major functions of the AWC is to review and update animal welfare policies for all animals, including those animals produced for food, either Dr. Little does not understand the role of the AWC or else he is attempting to protect Cutler's position on the AWC.

The American Veterinary Medical Association does not address the humane treatment of animals in factory "farms." Rather, they currently support hens in batteries and sows in gestation crates. The American Veterinary Medical Association has had many opportunities to change their inhumane and pro-industry animal welfare policies. For years, Dr. Holly Cheever has presented scientific evidence that forced molting causes the needless death of many hens in egg-producing factories.

I have twice presented information from meat inspectors on the injuries and death of roping calves in rodeos. The Animal Welfare Committee has never responded to our concerns. In fact, the AVMA is more pro-actively anti-animal welfare and aggressively obstructive. At the last AWC meeting, speakers were not even allowed to hear each other's presentations.

While the American Veterinary Medical Association sponsors various animal welfare forums, no expert on the humane treatment of food animals has been invited to speak at their symposia.

Instead, the AVMA supports all industrial uses of animals. This year, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, an AVMA supported organization, gave their annual humane award to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. While humane treatment is occasionally mentioned in these forums, the AVMA does little or nothing to change its policies supporting the information therein.

Dr. Cutler is not the only culprit in the inhumane killing of 30,000 chickens. The American Veterinary Medical Association is a willing accomplice due in part to their archaic and inhumane animal welfare policies. The AVMA must remove Cutler from their Animal Welfare Committee.

Please call and express your opinion to Bruce Little.

His e-mail address is: Blittle@avma.org
His phone number is: 1-847-925-8070

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