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City: Chicken slaughter art project is cruel

A Kansas artist says she’ll change her plan to publicly slaughter chickens as part of an art installation after city officials told her the plan would violate local ordinances and could result in a $1,000 fine.

Lawrence city officials said that Amber Hansen’s project, “The Story of Chickens: A Revolution,” would amount to animal cruelty, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Hansen had planned to display chicken coops across the eastern Kansas city with volunteers helping to care for the birds. The exhibit was to end with the birds being killed and served as a meal, the AP reported. Hansen wanted to draw attention to the process of slaughtering animals.

“If people choose to eat meat, it is an important process to witness and be mindful of,” Hansen told the Lawrence Journal-World. “It is a process that takes place on a mass scale every day, and we aren’t really allowed to see it.”

Assistant City Attorney Chad Sublet told the newspaper that the public slaughter of chickens would be a violation of the city’s animal cruelty code.

“I think one could argue there is a freedom of expression interest here, but I think under our obligations to protect the health, safety and public welfare it is an activity we can regulate,” he told the Lawrence Journal-World.

Hansen told the newspaper on Monday her project will move forward but in a way that complies with city code. Details of what that new installation would include were still being worked out, she said.

An email to Hansen on Tuesday by msnbc.com was not immediately returned.

The original proposal sparked criticism from Lawrence’s Compassion for All Animals Group and United Poultry Concerns, the newspaper reported.

“There has been a lot of feedback,” Hansen told the newspaper. “There has been a lot of meaningful dialogue and discussion and that is good. The project will move forward to accommodate that discussion, but it will abide by the city’s codes.”

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