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June 3, 2002. For more information contact: lauren Ornelas 530/759-8482

Ducks Liberated from Factory Farm Reveal Bill Mutilation

Wild Oats Community Markets discontinue Woodland Farms

Davis, CAÉViva! received packet with photos from an anonymous source who liberated ducks from a factory farm in southern California. According to the letter, the ducks were from Woodland Farms (a subsidiary of Maple Leaf Farms) a company that Viva! had previously investigated and had revealed filthy and inhumane conditions.

Photos of the liberated ducks show that a portion of their top bill had been either burned or cut off. This type of procedure is common in the duck industry and is done to prevent feather pulling which is caused by intensive confinement.

"We are glad to know that these ducklings will be able to live out the rest of their lives with the joy of water, said lauren Ornelas, Campaigns Director for Viva!USA. According to the letter Viva! received, "within seconds of access to fresh water, these little ducklings furiously started cleaning themselves."

In October 2001, Viva!USA was contacted by Wild Oats customers who were concerned about the store carrying duck meat from Woodland Farms. Viva!USA contacted Wild Oats (based in Boulder, CO) to notify them of the inhumane conditions at Woodland Farms. Wild Oats was sent a video and full report of the farms.

After confirmation that the ducks' bills are mutilated, Viva! once again contacted Wild Oats who has now decided to "discontinue purchasing duck products from Woodland Farms" until they find what they consider to be humane suppliers.

"We are excited that Wild Oats took the facts to heart," said Ornelas. "Duck farming is a cruel and inhumane business and all ties with these farms should be terminated."

Since the inception of its duck farming campaign, Viva! has successfully negotiated with several retailers, including Earth Fare and Huckleberries, to end their dealings with inhumane, duck factory farming businesses. In 2001, Whole Foods agreed to end selling duck meat from Maple Leaf Farms. Later that year, Trader Joe's suspended its purchase of duck meat, pending a third party certification that the farms are "humane."

Viva! has photographs and video of the conditions in which Pekin and Muscovy ducks are forced to live: filthy, crowded warehouses without enough water for the ducks to immerse their heads. Eye problems commonly develop under such conditions. Without more water, these naturally aquatic birds find it difficult to keep warm and clean.

About Viva: We are an international vegetarian organization with national headquarters in Davis, CA. Undercover video and photos taken in duck factory farms, and as Viva!USA's report on duck farming, are available through their website at www.vivausa.org or by contacting Viva! at 530/759-8482.

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