High School Curriculum No Longer Includes Chicken Slaughter

Posted on July 3, 2008

Updated on December 8, 2008

Nineteen chickens from the school’s now conclusively canceled project will be taken in by Farm Sanctuary, ending the Canandaigua Academy’s “chicken project” as per an order from the state Board of Education.

Thank you to all who wrote letters encouraging the academy to end this program!

September 2008 Update:
Although the Canandaigua Academy reversed its earlier decision to eliminate the chicken project and plans to continue to offer it as part of its curriculum, lack of permission from the State Education Department to carry out acts of animal slaughter as an academic exercise is reportedly impeding the project, at least temporarily.  School officials say that the high school students are “studying the impact of growing food” by slaughtering the birds that they raise from chicks.

Below you will find a September news article, a New York law that addresses the use of live animals in the schools, and the State Education Department’s information page on applying for a waiver.

Canandaigua Academy students can’t kill chickens without state waiver
DemocratandChronicle.com, September 14, 2008

New York State Consolidated Laws
Click Education (EDN) under the “Select Law” menu.

Choose Article 17, then Section 809 for “Instruction in the humane treatment of animals.”

New York State Education Department’s “Application Form for Commissioner of Education Waiver Education Law §809(5) Treatment of Live Vertebrate Animals” (PDF)


Additional news articles:


‘Chicken project’ isn’t dead yet
MPNnow.com, July 13, 2008

Canandaigua classroom chicken slaughter rethought
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, June 12, 2008

(Ontario County, NY)  The Canandaigua Academy’s hands-on chicken slaughter project, part of the school’s curriculum for the last 3 years, was canceled earlier this spring following a public outpouring of objections. The ecology class project had students raising chicks in pens and ultimately slaughtering, plucking, gutting, and barbecuing them. While the supervising teacher argued that the class serves to “educate people to the true cost of today’s diet,” the inherent violence of the meat industry does not justify its reenactment in our classrooms.

Related Links:­

The Canandaigua Academy

The Canandaigua City School District

are not usually protected by state anti-cruelty laws due to built-in
exemptions such as those for ‘traditional farm and animal husbandry
practices.’  Download a free copy of your state’s laws here:  Animal Protection Laws of the United States and Canada

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