For more information contact: lauren Ornelas 404/315-8881
April 6, 2001
Activists Spring Into Action for Ducks
Viva! Victory: Whole Foods Market Drops Maple Leaf Farms
Viva!USA is sponsoring a nationwide series of events to persuade Whole
Foods and Trader Joe’s markets to drop the sale of duck meat. In conjunction
with groups around the country, Viva! will hold demonstrations and leafleting
events from April 7 - 14, in cities such as Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas,
and San Francisco.
Viva! launched its campaign against duck meat in September of this year
with the help of Paul McCartney and actress Hayley Mills after investigating
Maple Leaf Farms and Grimaud Farms of California.
Whole Foods has dropped duck meat sold by Maple Leaf Farms in all of their
stores but Trader Joe’s continues to carry their products.
“It is tragically ironic that stores who have built a niche market on
‘healthy, socially-conscious’ specialty foods, cannot live up to an image
that has put them where they are today,” said lauren Ornelas, U.S. Campaigns
According to Viva!, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are currently selling
duck meat from Grimaud Farms where some of the ducks are not allowed access
to the outdoors, fresh air, natural light, free access to swimming water
and where the ducks have the tips of their bills cuts off. Hundreds of
birds are kept in filthy sheds.
response to Whole Foods claims can be seen here.
Viva! investigated both Grimaud and Maple Leaf Farms and found that the
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 may also develop eye problems that can result in blindness.
Both companies practice de-billing. De-billing is done to prevent feather
pulling - a behavior caused by the stressful environment. In the US, thousands
of ducks are boiled alive in the slaughterhouse!
Video footage of duck units; full report; media briefing and photos, are
available from Viva! or on our website at www.vivausa.org.