Exotic Meat Campaign
On the run-up to Christmas, supermarket chain Lidl, Fortnum & Mason and Harvery Nichols are shockingly selling reindeer meat in many of their stores across the UK. Please help us stop them.
Click here to find out how you can help.
Viva! campaigns against the sale of 'exotic meats' and also
the factory farming of animals such as ostrich,
emu and crocodile. Our campaign
has led to all the major supermarkets withdrawing kangaroo,
ostrich and crocodile meats from sale - a major blow to this
new animal abuse industry.
Sadly, meat from these wild animals is still on sale in small
chains of pubs and in some restaurants and shops. Please let
Viva! know of any outlet selling 'exotic' meat, so we can
Read our reports, educate yourself and help us expose the
cruelty and suffering behind these 'exotic meats'.
Urgent Action!: The UK has just opened its first
crocodile farm - yet another animal forced from its natural
habit into the horrors of the factory farm. However, the trade
is still new enough for us to do something about it. Click
here to find out what you can do to help.
Rescued joeys (baby kangaroos) - millions are
killed when their mothers are shot for meat.
Juliet Gellatley speaks on BBC Radio One and
National TV at a Viva! demo against kangaroo meat.
Viva! kangaroos die in front of a
representative of the kangaroo industry and a
pro-shooting politican. They flew from Australia
to London to watch Viva!s demos that helped
end the UK supermarket trade in kangaroo meat.
Viva! demo outside the UK chain "Walkabout" who
sell kangaroo and other "exotic" meat.
Poster warning about dangers of eating kangaroo
Shortly after Viva!'s launch in 1994, our attention
was drawn to a new 'product' in Tesco's meat chillers.
Nestled on its Styrofoam tray and wrapped in clingfilm,
it was simply labelled 'kangaroo steak'. We discovered
that this so-called delicacy is the product of the greatest
slaughter of land animals in history. Hunted down at
night in the vast outback, with powerful four-track
vehicles, the startled animals are mesmerised with search
lights and shot - supposedly in the head.
We obtained video footage of a shooter in action. What
was depicted was a cruel and barbaric blood bath. Animals
were shot in the throat, their legs slashed open, a
hook inserted and they were hauled on to the back of
the vehicle, still gasping in agony. Large, still-conscious
males were dragged up by their testicles. When females
were shot, the first action of the killer was to search
their pouches for babies. Having found one, he threw
it to the ground and stamped on it, grinding his heel
on the 'joey's' head. He walked away, leaving it writhing.
Obviosuly, there is no justification for this wildlife
massacre and our research revealed the excuses offered
by the Australian government were lies.
We were determined to stop this cruelty and targeted
Tesco - persistently for two years. We printed special
materials for their customers and put hundred of local
groups outside their stores to distribute it and supplied
information to the media. The culmination was a double-page
spread in the News of the World on kangaroo killing
and Tesco dropped the trade four days later. That was
26 September 1997.
In 1998, Viva!'s director Juliet Gellatley visited Australia
and created a storm of controversy - doing about 50
media interviews and a press conference at Canberra's
Houses of Parliament - filmed live on national and regional
TV news. She returned to the UK to reinvigorate the
campaign - including, on 24 July 1998, a demonstration
outside Sainsbury's supermarket's headquarters in London.
Actress, Pam Ferris, cut up her Sainsbury's loyalty
card in front of Australian and British radio and TV
cameras. It was followed the next day with 100 demonstrations
in the UK outside Sainsbury's stores and in Australia
at restaurants that sold the meat.
Representatives of the killing industry came to the
London demo, desperate to protect their markets. It
did them no good because Sainsburys also dumped 'roo
meat and were followed by all the main supermarkets
- 1,500 stores in all. It led to Juliet being presented
with the Australian Wildlife Protection Council award
for services to wildlife.
Despite the victory in Britain, Australia has been increasing
its sales of kangaroo meat and leather all around the
world and the kill quota for 2001 is a staggering 5.5
million animals. Juliet returned to Australia in 2001
to reinvigorate the campaign and to forge bonds between
Australian and European groups in order to widen the
campaign to save the kangaroo. We have to hope this
will work because failure will inevitably lead to the
extinction of these unique and wonderful animals.
Ostriches are the oldest
living birds on Earth. They are nomads, designed to
roam over vast tracts of grassland and deserts. With
their long powerful legs they run up to 40 mph, covering
25 feet in a single stride. They live into their 70's
in close-knit families. In Britain and the USA where
ostriches are farmed, they do none of these things.
They are penned up, their eggs taken away and their
chicks killed at one year old. Unable to shed rain from
their feathers, here they are at risk from exposure
Slaughter bound birds are often starved for hours or
days before they are killed. Moved in all kinds of weather,
they endure cold, damp, thirst, heat stress, panic and
terror. In cattle transporters, they jump into one another
and run into walls screaming.
After the stress of transport, the ostrich may be penned
up in darkness with a hood over its head. The next day,
still hooded, it is taken to the slaughter pen. Its
legs are hobbled and the hood is soaked in water. An
electric sheep stunner is clamped across its head, it
is hoisted up and its throat cut.
Another method of stunning is the captive bolt pistol.
However, the UK government states that this is unsuitable
for ostriches and should not be used. The bird's delicate
skull can stop the stunner from working or it may be
shot in the wrong part of its head - meaning agony to
a conscious bird aware of its life blood draining away
Contrary to claims, ostrich is not low in cholesterol.
It has 57mg per 100g - almost the same as beef. Ostrich
meat can transmit many diseases to humans including
salmonella, E coli and campylobacteriosis, and it decays
much more rapidly than other meats, allowing bacteria
Article on Ostrich
farming and Viva!'s Day of Action against Waitrose
Waitrose Supermarkets have dropped the sale of ostrich
meat from all its stores. Read
the full press release here.
Crocodiles are also
killed in the wild although taking animals from the
wild for captive breeding is more common. The shock
and trauma of capture is substantial and that is before
they are confined in an unnatural habitat for the rest
of their lives. Most worrying, there is still no code
of welfare for captive crocodiles anywhere in Australia,
where much of the crocodile meat comes from.
Crocodiles are the only living dinosaurs, the last
remaining members of the Class Archosauria, reptiles
of the Mesozoic era. Their ancestors lived around 200-65
million years ago, alongside Tyranosaurus rex and the
massive Brontosaurus. They lived through the Cretaceous
era when the dinosaurs disappeared, survived the break
up of the ancient world when continents split and drifted
across the globe and even made it through the Ice Ages
of the last 2 million years.
Amazingly, today's crocodiles are little different
from their prehistoric relatives but in the twentieth
century world of greed they face new and very real threats:
habitat destruction, legal hunting, poaching and entanglement
in fishing nets have all had an effect on the numbers
left in the wild. But at least they were in the wild.
Now maximising profits has become the global goal, ancient
rights are disregarded and the magnificent crocodile
has become subjugated to the horrors of the intensive
|Boycott Walkabout Inns
Walkabout Inns - a small chain of Australian 'theme' pubs -
are offering a range of 'exotic' meats on their menu's. Please
boycott these pubs.
Walkabout Inns have so far opened up in the following locations:
Birmingham; Brighton; Exeter; Leicester; Lincoln; London (Covent
Garden; Islington; Shepherds Bush); Nottingham; Southampton..
If you live near a branch of Walkabout, contact Viva! and we
will send you free campaign leaflets to distribute. Write or
phone the branch and urge them to withdraw 'exotic' meats from
Never buy any 'exotic' meat and complain whenever you see it
exotic meat leaflet
Viva! and help us with our campaigns.