For an in depth report into intensive duck farming in the UK please see Viva's report 'Duck out of Water' http://www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/ducks/report01.html
Media Release: Auckland Animal Action
Sunday 17th November 2007
Auckland Animal Action has anonymously received footage highlighting the cruel and inhumane conditions that ducks suffer on factory farms and slaughterhouses throughout New Zealand.
The footage obtained follows the ducks from hatchlings to slaughter. During this time the birds can be seen suffering from ammonia burns, overcrowding and eye infections due to a lack of water. At the slaughterhouse the footage documents workers punching a bird, attempting to kick another and slitting ones throat with what appears to be a hose end.
The ducks enter the farm at a few days old and reach slaughter weight by week six. By this time there is very little room for the birds to move; this overcrowding causes them much stress. The ducks excrement is left to build up over this time and reaches a toxic level causing severe ammonia burns to the ducks.
Spokeswoman for Auckland Animal Action Kali Sandbrook says: "As aquatic birds, water is of the utmost importance to ducks who would naturally spend upwards of 75 percent of their day swimming, eating and socialising in the water. However, on factory farms ducks cannot even fully immerse their heads in water which leads to eye infections and sometimes blindness."
As part of their investigation, members of the Animal Liberation Front rescued 30 ducks from this suffering. In the communique received by Auckland Animal Action the ALF activists stated "For the short six weeks of their lives they are crammed in to overcrowded, filthy sheds where they are deprived of water to bathe in, nesting material and the ability to display natural behaviours and social patterns. The suffering and cruelty these animals are forced to endure is legitimised by the state. We do not respect a legal system that puts economics before the preservation of life, we are only concerned with what is right."
Ms Sandbrook says "We are extremely pleased to hear that 30 ducks have been spared this life of misery and an untimely death and can now live free, fulfilling lives."
"We recognise the governments failure to prevent such cruelty and understand that by putting economics first, the government has left compassionate people no choice but to take direct action to save lives."
For further information (including video footage and higher resolution
images), contact AAA spokeswoman Kali Sandbrook
on 021 - 175 - 1399
Anonymous communique in full:
Over the past few months we have documented the cruel conditions which ducks are forced to endure on factory farms in Aotearoa. During our investigation, 30 beautiful ducks have been rescued and are now free to spend the rest of their natural life playing in the water, where they belong.
Sadly the thousands we left behind will have long been murdered, packaged and shipped off to be consumed. Like other factory farmed animals, ducks are not treated as thinking, feeling beings, but as commodities to be turned in to profit.
For the short six weeks of their lives they are crammed in to overcrowded, filthy sheds where they are deprived of water to bathe in, nesting material and the ability to display natural behaviours and social patterns.
The suffering and cruelty these animals are forced to endure is legitimised by the state. We do not respect a legal system that puts economics before the preservation of life, we are only concerned with what is right.
We stand in solidarity with our comrades worldwide to fight for an earth free from oppression.
Until every shed is empty, we will not rest.
This is a view of the outside of the sheds.
Ducks are aquatic birds and require water to feed from and to bathe in. In a factory farm situation ducks are not given access to water and are not even able to fully immerse their heads in water. As such they often have eye infections, these can lead to blindness.
The litter in the sheds is not cleaned out for the six weeks that the ducks are there. This means that the ducks, who are usually obsessively clean, are forced to live in their own excrement. As the ammonia levels build up it cause painful irritation to the ducks skin, as you can see below.
These ducks have been breed over time to grow very rapidly, as a result of this the duck go from hatching to slaughter within just six week.
Quack A Duck are one of New Zealand's largest 'processors' of duck meat. In 2005 they were slaughtering an average of 15,000 ducks per week. The footage obtained from their Cambridge Slaughter House shows workers punching one duck who had escaped the crate and attempting to kick another. Those who do not escape the crates are left crammed seven to a crate until they are roughly shackled and sent along a conveyor belt to have their throats slit. Quack A Duck slaughter house can be found at 20 Carters Crescent, Cambridge and can be contacted on 07-823-2640.
The footage obtained shows that this duck, below, escaped from it's crate only to be roughly recaptured. This slaughter house worker then slits the ducks throat with what appears to be the hose end.
These lucky thirty ducks were spared this cruel death and are now free to live out their natural life playing, swimming and socialising with ducks.