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For Immediate Release: November 30, 2000
For more information contact:lauren Ornelas (404) 315-8881

Holidays Aren't Happy for the Birds
Events to take place around the country protesting the factory farming of ducks

In cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago activists will be educating consumers about the lives that factory farmed ducks lead and encouraging grocery stores to dump duck meat.

Along with turkeys and game hens, ducks top the holiday recipe list; so from December 2 - 10 activists around the country will be taking their message to consumers in front of stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Wal-Mart SuperCenters.

Viva! launched its campaign against duck meat in September of this year with the help of Paul McCartney and actress Hayley Mills. As of October, one grocery store chain pulled the duck meat by Grimaud Farms, one of the companies investigated by Viva!

'The images of ducks that the public is accustomed to seeing bear no resemblance to the filthy, unnatural conditions which these ducklings are forced to endure,' said lauren Ornelas, U.S. Campaigns Director for Viva! 'The ducklings are separated from their mothers, housed in filthy sheds, and cruelly slaughtered after seven weeks of age.'

Factory farmed ducks are forced to live in filthy conditions without enough water to immerse their heads. Most farms offer ducks water only in the form of nipple drinkers (a pipe with holes where water drops out). Without an adequate amount of water, these ducks find it difficult to keep warm and they may also develop eye problems which can result in blindness.

Two companies investigated by Viva!, Maple Leaf Farms and Grimaud Farms, practice de-billing. This process involves amputating a portion of the duck's sensitive bill. The grocery stores targeted have received Viva!'s 30 page Ducks Out of Water Report and a video about these farms.

Many ducks will be fully conscious when their throats are cut. Thousands of ducks are boiled alive each year; the Food Safety Inspection Service (branch of the USDA) estimates that almost 6,000 were boiled alive in 1998.

Video footage of duck units and Paul McCartney speaking on Viva! in the U.S.; full report; media briefing and photos, are available from Viva!.