Ducks Out of Water
Viva! believes that the factory farming of ducks is
morally reprehensible and illegal. Please send this
letter (or compose your own) to:
The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP. Secretary of State for
Environment, Food & Rural Affairs,
DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
Dear Mr Benn
Im appalled to discover that ducks are factory
farmed for meat in Britain.
Farmed ducks retain many of the biological characteristics
of their wild ancestors and yet they are kept in their
thousands in sheds.
According to the Council of Europe legislation (European
Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming
Purposes), ratified by the UK government in June 1999,
selective breeding for meat production has meant that
ducks may be unable to fly, have difficulty in
walking and are subject to leg disorders. In crowded
farm conditions, some birds are knocked over onto their
backs and are unable to right themselves. With around
10,000 birds in one shed it is impossible to check on
every bird. Sick or injured birds are invariably left to
The Convention states that ducks are "largely
aquatic" and that "all breeds retain many
biological characteristics of their wild ancestors"
- and that farmed ducks should be allowed the
fulfilment of essential biological requirements, in
particular in respect of water... Clearly, UK
duck farms are breaking the law. For example, these
aquatic birds will never have the opportunity to swim
in water. This deprivation is morally reprehensible
and Im disgusted it is allowed.
At slaughter, ducks are hung upside down on a conveyor
belt before having their heads dipped in an electrical
waterbath. The Scientific Veterinary Committee of the
EU are concerned that many ducks are not properly stunned
and may therefore be knifed whilst fully conscious.
I would hope that the Labour government are against
this cruelty and urge you to ensure that it ends. I
look forward to your response.