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Safe Haven? SUNY Cobleskill Murders Roosters for Research

This is a follow-up to my previous post about the 10 fighters and 4 juvenile fighters and hens we took in a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t say anything about this until I knew that all the rest of the birds had been taken to safety. Now they are safe, so now I can share with you another gruesome aspect of this rescue (beyond the reason for the rescue itself).

Over 80 birds (fighters and juveniles) were taken to SUNY Cobleskill after being confiscated in the raid. They were to be cared for pending the legal release of the birds as well as ideally finding homes for the birds. By the time we knew of their existence, 40 of the birds had been murdered for use in the classroom. Some of them were killed for Anatomy and Physiology classes, and others were killed so students could see if there were any biological differences between chickens raised to fight and chickens raised for food.

I was told by the officer (who was otherwise an extremely strong advocate for these birds) that “at least some good will come of it.” I have learned over the years to bite my tongue in such situations until everyone is safe. When Cheryl picked them up at the school, she bit her tongue too when she learned exactly how the other birds had been killed. When the woman from the other place picked up the remaining birds, she did the same thing.

But now we are free to openly announce this betrayal of these birds. It is horrifying enough that so many of these gorgeous creatures are killed because they have no homes to go to. It’s quite another for them to be murdered to further the cause of the flesh-purveyors — to help them become ever better at the art of raising, tormenting, and killing other animals for profit.

Please advocate for these roosters! Please contact your local HSUS, ASPCA, and ACC and let them know that fighters can be rehabilitated, and you know of at least two places where it happens all the time. Urge them to seek placement for the birds before they decide to summarily euthanize them. Next, send a letter to the agricultural college closest to you and let them know exactly what you think of their “animal husbandry” programs and classes. Tell them that teaching people to better profit off the very pain, the very bodies, of others is no way to make a living.

Then go vegan if you haven’t already. Whether chickens are used for food or fighting, they are still being used. They are being created and manipulated, murdered and sold, for one reason or another. Don’t give in to the belief that this must be so; countless people eat a plant-based diet and are healthier and happier for it, if only because we know we are minimizing the suffering in this world. We can do it. So can you. The roosters depend upon it.

16 comments to Safe Haven? SUNY Cobleskill Murders Roosters for Research

  • CQ
    Thank you for maintaining your outward calm until the roosters were safe; that couldn’t have been easy on you. I gather there are three still-tender tongues from having been bitten hard.

    I’m not sure I understand exactly who is financially profiting by this horrid research. The university, which get grants to conduct experiments? The cockfighters?

  • bravebird
    Here, I was referring to the university — they make money by teaching people who to be better “farmers” of flesh.
  • T,
    I love your passion. Thank you for doing what you do.
  • bravebird
    Thank you also, for doing what you do, and for your kind note.
  • victoria figurelli
    Thank you so much for all the work you do for the chickens and I just dont know why poeple do not give Roosters a chance they can live together as we well know I have several now and they can co exist with each other yes it does take time but for us its worth it. I get lost of emails from other animal activists groups such as Best friends animal society and Hsus about how they have reahabed Vicks dogs Now its time for the Roosters. WHEN WILL THEY GET THERE CHANCE
  • bravebird
    That’s an excellent question — when will they get a chance? Roosters are SO burdened by our ideas of masculinity, it’s hard to imagine when we will shake them. Plus, many folks have decided that the resolution to any conflict should be done in a non-physical, bloodless fashion — while that may or may not be true with humans (I go back and forth on that one), it is NOT true with all other animals. Roosters DO have physical conflicts, and they DO draw blood, and under reasonably normal circumstances, they figure it out quickly and move along. But so often, people see a bit of blood on a comb and decide that Roosters Cannot Get Along. Unfortunately, that is exactly HOW they get along, so they never really get a chance to prove it.
  • Random
    Please answer me this. if you are so worried about the birds and they can be rehabilutated how come you only took ten?
  • Tofu
    If there were 90 roosters, there must have been at least that number of hens. Do you know what happened to all of them? Or were those left with the cockfighter?
  • Vegan Pets
    I’m kind of shocked. Didn’t HSUS spearhead the raid that removed these birds? So who is responsible for their ending up in a vivisection lab, and why didn’t HSUS step in to stop it? I know that most fighting roos and “unadoptables” taken in raids are euthanized, but can you imagine if these had been rescued cats who were sent off to a vivisection lab?
  • bravebird
    Good question! We only took ten because that’s as many fighters as we can rehabilitate at one time, given space and resource constraints. Within 2-3 months, we should be able to take more (and plan on it, actually, although I can’t talk about it as yet). At this point, we have about 80 roosters living in peace and harmony on a 7-acre piece of land (with three coops). So, we have to moderate how many of what kind of rooster we take at any given time.
  • bravebird
    Interestingly, the only hens were some juveniles, who were rescued.
  • bravebird
    They did, but entrusted their care with the local officer in charge of the raid. When I spoke with the HSUS person who headed the raid on their end and told him about what had happened, he told me that he would be looking into the situation, and saying something to the officer. I also asked him to keep us in mind for future rescues. I hope he does keep to his word, although sadly we have heard that from HSUS before and it hasn’t always happened (which I told him also). Could be staff turnover, could be other issues…..

    Having said ALL that, you are right that the furor over cats going to labs would be far greater than this. That speaks not only to the species-centric approach we have toward animals, but also, as you note, to the sad truth that there are not many places that will take these guys in, whereas cats have relatively far more options (still not enough, of course)….. In other words, as noted in the blog post, roosters often are killed after rescues because there is nowhere to place them, but painless euthanasia cannot ethically, by any remote stretch of the word, be coupled with subsequent research, especially when conducted by students of agriculture whose ultimate goal is to learn how better to kill these animals.

  • Random
    And how do you know for sure what the birds were used for? Were you there when they were using them to see if there was a difference between birds bred to fight and regular laying chickens?
  • bravebird
    The woman in charge of the birds at the school told us that personally. She also told the same thing to the other rescue group who took the remainder of the birds. If you are here to engage in actual conversation, that’s fine. If you’re just trying to goad us, we will need to block your comments.
  • victoria figurelli
    Random. Why would bravebird lie.How can you judge someone else who is obviously doing more than her part to save animals Do you have any Roosters or chickens I do
  • I don’t doubt for a moment that some “brain” had the notion to “use” these birds as much as possible before they were executed. It fits with the mind-set of the entire human-centric world… :(

    Thank you for re-habing these 10 lucky roosters. In due time I’m certain they will fit right into any flock and make fine company for care-givers as well. ;)

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