8th November 2006
Free Jake! Wrongly Convicted Duckling Appeals Life Sentence
Despite being from the same family of wild birds seen on every pond in the country, nearly all of the ducklings raised for meat in the UK are condemned to cramped, prison-like conditions on factory farms and never have access to water for swimming. The only time they?ll leave their sheds is to go to slaughter at just seven weeks old. That is the appalling fate faced by almost all of the 19 million ducks raised for meat each year to be sold in the UK?s major supermarkets and restaurants.
This is the message that Viva! ? the largest campaigning vegetarian and vegan group in Europe ? will be bringing to shoppers this weekend. Viva! has called a National Day of Action aimed at dispelling the myth that ducks sold for meat have led a natural life, when in fact they have been driven from ponds and into intensive sheds. Across the country, hundreds of local campaigners will be handing specially designed leaflets to consumers urging them to ?Free Jake?, and set all factory farmed birds free by simply not buying them. In selected cities a campaigner dressed as the wrongly convicted Jake the Duckling ? complete with mask and prison uniform ? will be flanked by supporters holding placards reading ?Say No To Duck Prisons ? Go Veggie!?.
Lack of water prevents ducks from fulfilling their most fundamental needs, and as a result, they can suffer from dirty, dishevelled feathers, eye infections and even blindness. Viva! has taken footage at every major duck meat supplier, and has found scenes of neglect and suffering at all of them.
?Jake?s story of wrongful imprisonment is heart-breaking, but sadly it?s typical? says Viva! senior campaigner, Justin Kerswell. ?Most people have no idea that duck meat comes from filthy, overcrowded, factory farms where these beautiful, aquatic creatures never have the opportunity to swim or splash around in water and cannot fulfil their natural instincts.
?With no chance of parole, we are urging consumers to free this little jailbird ? and millions like him ? by boycotting duck meat and getting their teeth into some veggie meals instead.?
Viva!?s new leaflet ?Free Jake? can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.viva.org.uk/pdfs/jake_dl_flyer.pdf
For more information contact Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or visit http://www.viva.org.uk/ducks