Viva! USA
P.O. Box 4398
Davis, CA 95617

Tel: 530/759-viva (8482)
Fax: 530/759-8487

Email: info@vivausa.org


Viva! has been informed that many of you are receiving the following statement from Whole Foods regarding a report released by researchers at the University of California at Davis about muscovy ducks, with reference to Grimaud Farms:

"It is our view that farmers raising animals for food have an obligation to protect these animals from unnecessary pain and suffering . . . I am pleased to report that the Grimaud Farms management team has consistently demonstrated their commitment to production of ducks with careful concern for their health and welfare."

Ralph A. Ernst
Animal Science Department
University of California, Davis CA

Background: Some Whole Foods stores carry muscovy duck meat from Grimaud Farms. After undercover video footage exposed conditions at Grimaud, Whole Foods said they were going to work with Grimaud to improve conditions for the ducks. Whole Foods is now using the above statement from UC Davis to defend Grimaud. Viva! has obtained a draft copy of the actual report and we have found that nothing has changed! Rather, Whole Foods continues to defend the practices of this farm, and goes so far as to say that muscovy ducks need to be intensively confined (in a message from Consumer Coordinator, Lourdes Zarate).

When questioned - Whole Foods will admit that these ducks still are intensively confined, have the tips of their bills cut off and are not allowed enough water to fully immerse themselves.

The draft copy of the report is lengthy, so we will just point out some of the disturbing things it says:

Muscovy ducks have an acute problem with feather pecking, especially when reared in intensive production systems...Trimming the bill is stressful and probably causes some pain. Unfortunately, with Muscovy ducks, no other viable alternative exists at this time.

Any unhatched eggs or cull ducklings should be humanely euthanized immediately after the hatch is pulled. Acceptable methods include carbon dioxide inhalation and maceration.

Since ducks are waterfowl, they need to be able to immerse their bills in water. This is important for proper hygiene and the health of the nostrils and eyes. The watering devices should not be large enough to allow them to put their entire body into the water. This will cause the water to get dirty and become contaminated. Adequate watering space should be provided.

Water must be available whenever feed is provided, but need not be available at all times. [This was referring to breeding stock.]

Please note: Trader Joe's east coast and Illinois stores are also selling Grimaud. Some of the west coast Trader Joe’s still have Grimaud duck meat on their shelves and may resume purchasing it at any time. Please express your outrage to them also.

Grimaud is also sold under the company name Broadleaf. Grimaud also sells ducks to Sonoma Foie Gras.

> See also Viva!'s response to old claims made by Whole Foods

You may wish to contact the following:

  • John Mackey, CEO/Founder
    Whole Foods
    601 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 300
    Austin, TX 78703
    512/477-4455
    rsteam@wholefoods.com

  • Doug Rauch, President
    East Coast Office
    Trader Joe's
    938 Highland Ave.
    Needham Heights, MA 02494
    Direct Line: 781-433-0182x111
    Switchboard: 781-433-0234

  • Dan Bane
    CEO
    Trader Joe's
    PO Box 5049
    800 South Shamrock Avenue
    Monrovia, CA 91016
    T: 626-599-3700
    F: 626-301-4441