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
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
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 Joes 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
also Viva!'s response to old claims made by Whole Foods
You may wish to contact the following:
- John Mackey, CEO/Founder
601 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 300
Austin, TX 78703
- Doug Rauch, President
East Coast Office
938 Highland Ave.
Needham Heights, MA 02494
Direct Line: 781-433-0182x111
- Dan Bane
PO Box 5049
800 South Shamrock Avenue
Monrovia, CA 91016