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September 4, 2001

WHOLE FOODS TARGETED FOR SELLING INHUMANELY RAISED DUCK MEAT
National Duck Week to highlight the plight of factory farmed ducks, September 10 - 16

DAVIS, CA - Viva!USA activists in 17 cities across the U.S. will educate and leaflet during Duck Week to heighten awareness about the tragic lives factory-farmed ducks endure. Whole Foods retailers (based in Texas) will be a primary focus of Duck Week events. Although the grocery chain markets itself as a purveyor of natural, cruelty free items, it continues to sell ducks farmed by Grimaud Farms - a notoriously inhumane duck farm.

National Duck Week events will take place in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, CA; Santa Fe; Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, TX; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; Chicago; Philadelphia and Mt. Pleasant, PA; Atlanta; Manhattan; Raleigh; Montgomery, AL; and Tampa.

Points to consider:

Ducks, like other animals raised in food production, are excluded from the federal Animal Welfare Act. Factory farmed ducks are packed by the thousands into dark, stinking sheds.

As aquatic birds, ducks have evolved to live their lives in water. Denied enough to water to immerse themselves, factory farmed ducks are unable to preen properly and have difficulty maintaining adequate body temperature.

Grimaud Farms cuts off a portion of a ducks bill to prevent the ducks from pulling each others' feathers - an unnatural behavior caused by the crowded, “factory farm” conditions. The birds who survive have their throats cut before being immersed in scalding water to be de-feathered. According to the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service, about 1 million ducks per year are fully conscious when their throats are cut, and many thousand are still breathing when they are plunged into boiling water.

Viva!USA supporter Sir Paul McCartney, states, “Each one of us can make a difference for the animals, our environment, and for our own health by going vegetarian. This is totally in our control and we don’t need the government or anyone else’s permission! Becoming a vegetarian today couldn’t be easier - Viva!USA is here to help.”

After only a year, Viva!USA successfully negotiated with Whole Foods to end the sale of duck meat from producer Maple Leaf Farms, convinced the West Coast branch of Trader Joe's to suspend the purchase of duck meat while the company looks into the allegations, and persuaded Earth Fare natural food chain to stop selling duck meat from Grimaud Farms.

About Us: Viva!, an international organization, has its national headquarters in Davis, CA. Undercover video and photos taken in duck units on U.S. factory farms, as well as Viva!USA’s report on the status of ducks held in these farms, are available through Viva!USA’s website at www.vivausa.org, or by contacting Viva! at 530/759-8482.