Embargoed until: 10:30am, Sept. 14, 2000
Contact: lauren Ornelas (404) 315-8881
"Dump Duck Meat" says Sir Paul McCartney
"Don't eat ducks" will be the message given to shoppers across the U.S. when animal group Viva! launches an exposé on duck farm conditions - at 10:30am, September 14 at the Cafe Sunflower, 2140 Peachtree Road, Buckhead, Atlanta. Animal groups in 20 cities across 15 states will take up the call - with posters and leaflets, animal activists will talk directly to shoppers outside large grocery stores, asking them to boycott duck meat.
Supporting the Ducks Out of Water campaign are ex-Beatle and pop legend Sir Paul McCartney and actress Hayley Mills. Sir Paul says: "I defy anyone with the smallest amount of compassion to look at the facts unearthed by Viva! and not be shocked by them. It is a terrible shame that people in a so-called civilized society should be involved in horrific practices such as these."
Sir Paul is referring to Viva!'s secretly-filmed video footage, which shows that most ducks in the U.S. are intensively reared - thousands of birds to a single shed - and suffer squalid, cramped conditions and are forced to waddle around in their own excrement. Birds that would naturally spend most of their lives on water are provided with no water for swimming. Unable to fulfill this fundamental need, they can suffer from poor and dirty feathers, difficulty in keeping warm, and eye problems including blindness.
The video also shows birds that have been cruelly "de-billed". A part of their sensitive upper bill has been amputated without painkillers to prevent feather pulling - a form of aggression which results from the highly-stressful conditions in which they're kept. A duck's bill is richly supplied with nerves and amputation can lead to pain for life. It has been likened to slicing off a human's fingertips.
Actress Hayley Mills says: "Duck producers proudly claim that intensive production is good for the ducks. I believe there is little to be proud of and Viva! has shown that duck farming is, sadly, yet another example of humans' gross abuse of the natural world. The answer is simple - don't eat ducks!"
Most farmed ducks are descended from mallards. Hayley will be feeding these wild birds in Atlanta's Piedmont Park (10th Street NE & Charles Allen Dr.) at 12:30pm on September 14, to highlight the stark difference between natural conditions and those on U.S. farms. Viva! is backing its Ducks Out of Water campaign with a detailed report on the U.S. duck farming industry.
Animal group Viva! was founded six years ago in England and this campaign marks its launch as a non-profit organization in the U.S. Its British campaign against duck farming led to Harrods of London - the royal, top people's store - dumping all factory-farmed duck meat. Every major supermarket chain has taken de-billed duck meat from its shelves - including Asda, owned by Wal-Mart - and the industry is undertaking a major review of duck farming conditions. Viva! is one of the world's leading sources of information on all vegetarian and vegan issues.
For Beta or VHS video of Paul McCartney's message to the U.S. and exposé on U.S. duck farming, copies of the duck report, photos, and Sir Paul McCartney's full text, contact lauren Ornelas at (404) 315 8881