Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

NewsBlaze Investigates Student Newspaper Censorship of Animal Cruelty Ad

From UPC United Poultry Concerns
December 2022

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.

ventilation shutdown crueltyThis Chicken's entire body heaves as she gasps for air while being subjected to VSD ventilation shutdown - from Animal Outlook image c/o United Poultry Concerns.

Dec 16, 2022, 17:28 ET

MACHIPONGO, Va., Dec. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- 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. See USPOULTRY gives nearly $400,000 in industry research grants.

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." Read NCSU Student Paper Censors Our Chicken Cruelty Ad

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."

About United Poultry Concerns

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens, turkeys, ducks and other domestic fowl. We hold that the treatment of these birds in the areas of food production, science, education, entertainment, and humane companionship situations has a significant effect upon human, animal, and environmental welfare. We seek to make the public aware of the ways in which poultry are used, and to promote the benefits of a vegan diet and lifestyle. We provide information through our quarterly magazine Poultry Press, our Website at, and our sanctuary in Machipongo, Virginia on the Eastern Shore. We invite you to join us and support our work.

Founded in 1990 by Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns is the world's foremost non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the respectful treatment of domestic fowl. UPC runs a haven for chickens in Virginia, and also teaches people about the egg and chicken meat industries, the natural lives of free chickens, pleasures and benefits of human-chicken companionship, and alternatives to chicken farming and the use of chickens in education and scientific experimentation. Dr. Annie Potts, Chicken, 2012


NewsBlaze was founded in 2004 as an independent online newspaper and information portal, forming relationships with other publishers and wire services. NewsBlaze covers broad topics of interest to readers worldwide, which has helped build a loyal, global following of readers, especially in Australia, North America and Europe.

In addition, as the lead Syndicate Partner of the World City Press Network, NewsBlaze provides news, editing and content services for the dozens of publishers that make up the World City Press Network. Visit to learn more.

Media Contact:

Alan Gray, NewsBlaze

Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns, 757-678-7875; [email protected]

SOURCE NewsBlaze

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