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February 8, 2001

For more information: lauren Ornelas (404) 315-8881

Local Atlanta Event is for the Birds
National Campaign Raises Factory Farm Issue with Whole Foods

Atlanta, Ga...Members of Viva! will be holding an event outside of Whole Foods at 2111 Briarcliff (corner of Briarcliff & La Vista) from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 10 to educate consumers about Whole Foods’ stocking of factory farmed duck meat. Events will also be taking place at Whole Foods headquarters in Austin, TX; San Francisco and other cities around the country.

Viva! has been informed by the MidAtlantic Whole Foods (including the Atlanta region) that they will no longer carry duck meat by Maple Leaf Farms (MLF), one of the main companies investigated by Viva! However, they still carry duck meat from Grimaud Farms of California – another company investigated by Viva! – and found them to be similar to MLF.

“We felt we were doing Whole Foods a service by informing them of the cruel practices of these companies,” said lauren Ornelas, US Campaigns Director, “but since some regions of Whole Foods are still carrying Grimaud Farms, we have to take our message to their customers.”

Whole Foods maintains an image of concern for the environment and for the welfare of animals while many of their stores continue to sell duck meat from factory farms.

Viva! investigated Grimaud and found the ducks forced to live in crowded conditions, indoors, without enough water to immerse their heads. Grimaud practices de-billing or ‘bill trimming’ to prevent feather pulling – a behavior caused by the stressful environment. The procedure removes a portion of the bill. Viva! has provided Whole Foods with studies, including one co-authored by someone from Grimaud Farms of France, that states it is ‘traumatic to the bird.’ In the US, thousands of ducks are boiled alive in the slaughterhouse!

The Mid West Region of Whole Foods will not carry duck meat from either Grimaud Farms or Maple Leaf Farms. Earth Fare, a health food chain, with five stores in North & South Carolina, pulled duck meat from Grimaud Farms after seeing Viva!’s investigation.

Viva!’s USA headquarters is based in Atlanta. Video footage of duck units; full report; media briefing and photos, are available from Viva! or on our website.