The Drug Enforcement Agency has been working closely with the medical industry for years in trying to combat the use and abuse of any kind of prescription drug that can make a patient feel good. This would include drugs like opioids, antidepressants, muscle relaxers, anti-anxieties, and stimulants like Ritalin.
In conjunction with that goal, the DEA and medical researchers have been testing wastewater for drugs, mostly around university campuses and economically distressed cities, because it’s a fact that the young and the poor take more drugs than any other population.
But this kind of testing doesn’t address the drugs that we consume through the food chain. In order to expand the drug testing of waste, the DEA has created a new task force to look for drugs found on farms. This new task force, called Operation Cock-a-doodle-doo (COCK), will begin with testing the waste found on chicken farms.
To locate these farms, the members of COCK will be looking for any chickens that are suspected of having drugs in their system. Because chickens aren’t known to be happy animals, COCK will be looking for roosters and hens that appear to be in a good mood.
Andrew Kolodny of Physicians For Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PFROP) will be the medical “expert” working with COCK to help identify the chickens that are using or abusing drugs.
“Drug addiction in chickens is easy to spot,” says Mr. Kolodny. “We look for signs of the munchies, along with chickens that are dancing or strutting.”
When asked about the crisis of antibiotic resistance in our food chain, and if COCK will be testing for these drugs, a DEA spokesperson explained that antibiotics are not part of the Drug War. “We’re only interested in drugs that can have the side effect of making people feel high or happy.” The DEA spokesperson indicated that along with prescription drugs, COCK will also be looking for signs of marijuana use in chickens.
The COCK task force submitted the above photo as an example of what a chicken on drugs looks like. The DEA asks that the public be on the look out for dancing chickens or farm animals that are only interested in eating, and to report these sightings immediately to COCK at 1-800-COCKADOO or HappyChickens.com.
After receiving a reported sighting of happy chickens, Mr. Kolodny’s job will be to collect samples of chicken poop and test them for certain drugs. If these drugs are found, the DEA will arrest the owners of the farm, and the land and animals will be sold at auction to the highest bidder in order to fund the work of COCK.
(Photo taken on 7/4/2015.)