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Letter to USA Today

Dear Editor:
The recent liberation of 250 ducks from the Cornell University duck laboratory blows the lid off an ugly little secret. Cornell's experiments reveal that modern agribusiness is willing to go to any lengths to wring every last drop of profit out of animals, no matter how it affects the animals themselves.

More than 24 million ducks are already raised in outrageously cruel conditions on U.S. factory farms. Forget flying or swimming—factory farmed ducks can do neither. These aquatic birds are kept indoors in overcrowded conditions without access to water for bathing and preening. Factory farmed ducks routinely have part of their bills painfully burned or cut off to prevent the feather pulling that commonly results from such overcrowded conditions. Even the birds' deaths are not merciful: the US Department of Agriculture reports that thousands of ducks are mistakenly boiled alive every year because of the speed-at-any-price design of the slaughter process.

Now, at universities like Cornell, experimenters working for agribusiness are seeking new ways to pump up profits and push these animals to the limits of their physical endurance. Heartless? Yes. But it's also business as usual for the money-hungry corporations that dominate animal agriculture.

Viva! launched our campaign exposing the horror behind duck factory farms last September. We have video and photos available of duck farms around the U.S.

lauren Ornelas
U.S. Campaigns Director
P.O. Box 49023
Atlanta, GA 30359