29 enero, 2023

NewsBlaze Investigates Student Newspaper Censorship of Animal Cruelty Ad


An ad submitted to North Carolina State University’s student paper Technician was approved for publication by the marketing department only to be rejected without explanation by the paper’s editorial board the day before the ad was set to run on December 1.

Titled They Shut Their Ears to Her Cries as She Died a Merciless Death, the ad was produced by United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens and other domesticated birds. The purpose was to inform students, faculty and staff of inhumane experiments being conducted on chickens by the Poultry Science Department in 2016 and continuing. It urged campus residents to express concern to university Chancellor Randolph Woodson and Interim Head of the Poultry Science Department, Peter Ferket.

The experiments involved ten hours of torturing chickens slowly to death in Ventilation Shutdown research of a mass-extermination procedure referred to as VSD Plus. Hens were placed in individual see-through isolation boxes and subjected to oxygen deprivation, extreme heating, and carbon dioxide poisoning in combinations designed to cause suffocation and heatstroke in the hens whose voices were muted by the researchers who cavalierly fanned themselves and drank ice water as they watched the agony they had arranged.

Recent VSD Plus studies at North Carolina State include injecting hens with nitrogen. See grant item #5 for full title of this «injection of nitrogen during ventilation shutdown plus heat» project funded by USPoultry Foundation in 2022.

In A Big Win For Animal Abusers As Student Paper Censors Cruelty Ad NewsBlaze journalist Martha Rosenberg broke the story on December 5. She quoted Animal Outlook, the advocacy group that obtained the VSD footage through a public records request: «As the boxes get hotter and the air inside more stagnant, and as carbon dioxide is sometimes added, the chickens writhe, gasp, pant, stagger and even throw themselves against the walls of their confinement in a desperate attempt to escape.»

Citing ethical opposition to the procedure, Rosenberg wrote that «A group of veterinarians and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) members who asked the AVMA last summer to remove support for the mass kill method was ignored.»

To alert the public, United Poultry Concerns published two full-page ads in Philadelphia’s largest circulating newspaper Metro Philadelphia, targeting the AVMA’s annual convention in Philadelphia July 29-August 1. It asked people to urge the AVMA to oppose VSD Plus as a method to control chronic diseases like avian influenza in factory-farmed birds whose susceptibility to infection reflects unnatural breeding and squalid living conditions. 

«We think the public has a right to know what is being done to birds and other farmed animals for the sole purpose of protecting and advancing agribusiness interests,» says UPC President Karen Davis.

Davis continues: «Instead of cleaning up the squalor and eliminating the debilitating breeding practices, industry prefers to cruelly destroy tens of millions of birds, pigs, and others at taxpayer expense through U.S. Department of Agriculture indemnities. As a government-supported institution, North Carolina State University is part of a financial system that extends even to the student newspaper that claims to promote free speech.»

Wrote Rosenberg in her NewsBlaze article, «Apparently, lobbyist requests and the almighty dollar are more powerful than standard University policy.» 

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