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January 18, 2001

For more information contact: lauren Ornelas 404/315-8881

Duck Meat Recall

Viva! advises consumers to stay clear of duck meat

Viva! has just learned that over 4,000 pounds of duck meat from Serenade Foods (also doing business as Maple Leaf Farms) has been voluntarily pulled because it might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headaches, neck stiffness, nausea and can potentially be fatal, particularly for those with weak immune systems.

“The intensive confinement of animals in factory farms is breeding diseases that can be harmful to people,” said lauren Ornelas, US Campaigns Director for Viva! “We once again encourage people to protect animals and their own health and boycott duck meat.”

Viva! has been waging a campaign against the duck industry’s cruelty since September of 2000. Viva!’s undercover footage of Maple Leaf’s farms in several states showed ducks in filthy conditions.

Factory farmed ducks are forced to live in crowded conditions, indoors, 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 aquatic birds find it difficult to keep warm and they may also develop eye problems that can result in blindness. Most companies—including Maple Leaf Farms—also practice de-billing. This process involves amputating a portion of the duck’s sensitive bill.

Viva! is working to convince stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Wal-Mart SuperCenters to stop carrying duck meat – especially from companies such as Maple Leaf Farms and Grimaud of California.

For more information, including our 30 page report on the duck industry in the United States, contact Viva! or see our website at www.vivausa.org.