8 York Court
Bristol BS2 8QH
Tel: 0117 944 1000
Fax: 0117 924 4646
11 April 2000
STOP THE UGLY DUCKLING INDUSTRY!
Nationwide Easter Action by Viva!: 15th-24th April 2000
Viva! campaigners dressed as ducks and carrying banners
saying ‘Free as a Bird?’ and ‘The ugly duckling industry -
factory farming misery for Easter’ will be outside
supermarkets across the country this Easter urging shoppers
not to buy duck meat. The Easter Action will contrast the
Easter-card image of ducklings with the brutal reality of
duck factory farms.
The protests follow a major expose of the UK’s duck farm
industry by the animal charity Viva!, who have revealed the
squalid, cramped conditions on intensive duck farms after a
major investigation into factory-farmed duck meat - on sale
at all major supermarkets. Their campaign against the trade
is backed by celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney,
Joanna Lumley and Twiggy.
Viva!’s video footage shows that ducks bred for meat are
kept indoors - thousands in a single shed - where they are
forced to waddle around in their own excrement. The
charity’s Ducks Out of Water! report reveals how the end of
the birds’ sensitive beaks may be cut off to prevent
feather-pulling - a result of the highly stressful
conditions. Staff levels as low as one worker to 85,000
birds ensure that sick or injured birds frequently go
unnoticed and are simply left to die.
Equally disturbing is the fact that these aquatic animals
are provided with no water for swimming. Unable to fulfil
this most fundamental need, they can suffer from poor and
dirty feathers, difficulty in keeping warm, eye problems
and even blindness.
‘At Easter, the shops are full of cards depicting fluffy
yellow ducklings in the countryside,’ says Juliet Gellatley,
director of Viva!. ‘This idyllic spring-time image bears no
resemblance to the filthy, unnatural conditions which
real-life ducklings are forced to endure. They are separated
from their mothers and imprisoned in sheds where never have
the opportunity to swim or splash around in water. After
seven miserable weeks, they are slaughtered for the dinner
plate. It’s barbaric.
‘We will be urging supermarket shoppers to boycott duck meat
and try some veggie meals this Easter instead. Spring is all
about celebrating new life and new beginnings so it’s the
perfect time to show some compassion for animals and give up
meat for good,’ Ms Gellatley concludes.
Campaign supporter Joanna Lumley has joined the boycott
call. She appeals to consumers, ‘The cruelty of modern
farming has to end - and you have the power to do it. Don’t
buy meat from these diseased and dejected creatures.’
For details of protests, a
full report on UK duck farming, pictures or video footage, contact Juliet Gellatley
or Becky Smith at Viva! headquarters on 0117 944 1000.
For further information on duck farming, visit our campaign
If you would like to receive a copy of our free Ducks
out of Water Action Pack, including pre-printed postcards,
letters, what you can do and leaflets, please email us your
name, address (and age, if under 18).