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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Those killjoys over at the CDC won't even let you "kiss or snuggle" your own damn chickens anymore

Sad news for this once-happy pair.
Sad news for this once-happy pair.
Photo: Oli Scarff (Getty Images)

In a terrible blow to the millions of people who come home from a long day of work seeking no other reward for their toils than the simple joy of cracking open a cold one and throwing an arm around their pet chicken, the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has issued an advisory that warns against giving your “backyard poultry” a nice smooch or a friendly snuggle.


After “163 confirmed cases of salmonella were reported in 43 states,” The Hill writes, the CDC has had to issue a notice with instructions outlining its scientist-approved methods of bird-loving. Aside from providing tips about wearing separate shoes around chickens, frequently washing hands after playing fetch with the little rascals, and not eating or drinking around them (there go the dinner date plans), a section of the notice states the following in no uncertain terms:

“Don’t kiss or snuggle backyard poultry,” the CDC writes. “This can spread Salmonella germs to your mouth and make you sick.”

Apparently, Disease Control And Prevention thinks a reduction in chicken-human affections will help improve upon the salmonella illness rates reported last year, which were “higher than the number reported during any of the past years’ outbreaks linked to backyard flocks.” Whether they considered the psychological ramifications of an advisory that will keep chickens and humans from living together in loving, mutually enriching relationships isn’t clear.

Even worse—as if the poultry advisory wasn’t troubling enough already—the CDC also issued salmonella notices warning people against kissing and snuggling their “small pet turtles,” “pet hedgehogs,” and “pet bearded dragons.” What, for the love of god, can we kiss and snuggle these days, CDC? Next they’ll be telling us we can’t cuddle on up to slabs of raw, room temperature beef or shit-smeared dead lobsters!

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.