(CNSNews.com) – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling for the expulsion of three University of Vermont (UVM) students for the theft, slaughter, and consumption of a fraternity’s pet chicken last Sunday.
Darien Newman, Hannah Jackman, and Cameron Dube were set to be arraigned on charges of unlawful trespass, possession of stolen property, and cruelty to animals, according to UVM police Deputy Chief Timothy Bilodeau.
“Members of the university's fraternity Alpha Gamma Rho live at the private residence, and they keep chickens as pets,” the Burlington Free Press reports. “Bilodeau said the chicken was taken from a fenced-in area inside the residence and taken to a residence hall on campus.”
Following the chicken-napping, police say, the three 18-year-old students killed the chicken using a knife, plucked its feathers, and then most likely cooked it in a dorm kitchen.
State's Attorney T.J. Donovan said Wednesday that there was evidence that the three students were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time they snatched the chicken, but he has decided not to prosecute any of the students involved in criminal court.
Instead, he referred the cases to UVM's reparative board where "the students in question are moving through well-established review processes," wrote UVM spokesman Enrique Corredera in an email to the Burlington Free Press.
However, peta2, the youth division of PETA - whose motto is “animals are not ours to eat” - is calling on the university to expel the students and to prohibit the keeping of chickens by student groups.
“Cruelty to animals should be taken seriously, and I hope the university will send the message that bullying and abusing anyone is unacceptable. I urge you to expel the students who stole, killed, and ate the chicken,” Marta Holmberg, peta2 Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns, wrote to university officials on Friday.
“I hope you will also prohibit Greek-life organizations from keeping animals other than dogs and cats to prevent such incidents from happening again. It’s inappropriate to keep chickens and other farmed animals in a frat-house setting,” she added.
“These animals have unique needs that cannot be met by students with busy schedules.”