PETA Calls For End To Chicken-Hatching Programmes In Dudley Schools

For Immediate Release:
15 July 2010

Alice Barnett 020 7357 9229 ext. 229

Dudley, West Midlands – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent urgent letters to head teachers at Dudley schools calling on them to stop hatching chicks in classrooms. PETA explains that such displays harm baby birds, expose students to potentially unsafe bacteria and viruses, and teach youngsters that it’s acceptable to treat animals as objects and ignore their basic needs.

“Live animal displays don’t belong in schools,” says PETA’s Suzanne Barnard. “If educators treat animals as expendable props, they impart to students a lesson in negligence and lack of empathy.”

Many chicks in school hatchery schemes grow sick and deformed because their needs are not met during incubation and after hatching. Chicks’ body organs often stick to the sides of their shells because the eggs are not rotated properly, and eggs often hatch on weekends when no one is in school. When hatching projects are over, chicks are usually killed, disposed of at poultry markets or fed to reptiles. Many die of hunger and thirst. These complex and inquisitive animals, who would normally be raised by doting mothers, have outscored dogs, cats and some primates on intelligence tests.

Because chickens commonly carry potentially dangerous pathogens, chicken-hatching projects also place children’s health at risk. Faecal tests of chicks hatched in classrooms in Seattle, Washington, US, showed E. coli and four different kinds of salmonella, one of which was resistant to antibiotics. A school can quickly become a breeding ground for disease, including West Nile virus, which could infect domestic fowl in the UK.

PETA’s letter to Dudley schools is available upon request. For more information about how to help stop animal abuse, please visit