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May 9, 2001

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

Trader Joe’s Ditches Ugly Duck Meat Industry
Launched with Paul McCartney, Viva! Campaign Takes Flight

Viva! has received word that Trader Joe’s stores will no longer be placing orders for duck meat. Viva! campaigners around the country have been working to get Trader Joe’s to dump duck meat since September.

According to letters sent to customers, Trader Joe’s will “no longer be placing any more orders for duck meat.” They state that there is still duck in their inventory, “but when it is gone it will not be replaced.”

“We are excited about Trader Joe’s decision to no longer carry duck meat,” said lauren Ornelas, U.S. Campaigns Director, Viva! “It is good to know that when presented with the facts, Trader Joe’s has chosen to make an ethical decision.”

Trader Joe’s was selling duck meat from companies such as Maple Leaf Farms and Grimaud Farms of California. Last year, another grocery store chain - Earth Fare - dumped Grimaud Farms. Duck meat by Grimaud Farms is still sold by Whole Foods.

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 as a means to prevent feather-pulling - a behavior caused by the stressful environment. In the US, thousands of ducks are boiled alive in the slaughterhouse!

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.

Full report, media briefing, photos, and video footage of duck units may be requested from Viva! or found on our website.

See also our update on Trader Joe's