Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Bristol animal group ask local people to spring into action for ducks this Easter

Photo call
Date: Thursday, April 1, 2010
Location: Broadmead Podium, Bristol
Time: Midday

Release date: 
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

VEGGIE campaigners from Bristol-based animal group Viva! are to be joined by a giant duck in central Bristol as part of their National Weekend of Action for Ducks. The initiative is supported by popular actor and Viva! patron, Martin Shaw. They will be asking people to sign a giant Easter card pledging to save Britain's favourite bird by simply not eating him!

Members of Viva! will be peacefully gathering; holding eye-catching posters and leaflets urging passersby to "Give ducks a break this Easter' by going veggie.

Viva! campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell from St Werburghs in Bristol says: "Spring has almost sprung! At this time of year most people think of new life and new hope " and nothing sums that up more perfectly than the Easter duckling. However, the truth for Britain's factory farmed millions is far removed from the fluffy images you see on Easter cards. Most ducks killed for meat in the UK are just seven weeks old when they are slaughtered " no more than ducklings. Most don't go outside and they can't even swim. Water is life for ducks. When you think of how much wild ducks love the freedom of an open river it is shameful to think that the majority of British ducks " and almost all other ducks raised for meat " are denied this basic welfare right.

"We are encouraging shoppers in Bristol to reject duck meat this Easter " almost all of it is from factory farms. The best way to end the suffering of animals is to go veggie.'

At the end of last year, Viva! undertook a ground-breaking undercover investigation into a slaughterhouse owned by Gressingham Foods, who supply supermarkets including Sainsbury's and Tesco. Its disturbing findings exposed the grim reality of slaughter on an industrial scale: including ducks crammed in crates awaiting slaughter, birds slammed onto shackles and ducks escaping.

Viva! patron, Martin Shaw, said of the footage "Every time a spotlight is shone into yet another dark recess of factory farming I shake my head in disbelief and despair. I admire and wholeheartedly support Viva!'s undercover investigation into slaughter because through their disclosures comes hope of change.'

To find out more about Viva!'s duck campaign, contact Viva! by calling 0117 944 1000 or emailing info@viva.org.uk or visiting www.viva.org.uk/ducks

ENDS

For more information about this media release, please contact Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000.

Notes for editors:

Viva!'s undercover footage " and a short film by Martin Shaw about the factory farming of ducks " can be viewed at http://www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/ducks/martin-shaw.php

15 million ducks were killed for meat in the UK in 2008 (latest figures) " which has gone down from 22 million in 2001. Viva! has been campaigning to end the factory farming of ducks since 1999. The group's campaign has been instrumental in ending the practice of de-beaking of British ducks and has been credited by several supermarkets as the impetus for welfare improvements.