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‘Distressed’ birds have been found without access to open water on the UK’s largest duck meat producer.
Undercover footage from Animal Justice Project shows ducks on two Gressingham farms in Norfolk ‘void of any enrichment or open water’. In one shed housing 6,500 birds, there were 50 drinkers, which means 130 birds per drinker.
Workers from the Red Tractor-stamped company were also seen ‘roughly’ grabbing ducks before snapping their necks and throwing them onto the floor. While ducks appeared to ‘struggle to support their own bodyweight and were crying out in distress whilst immobilized’.
Activists state: “Some ducks on their backs were being pecked at by others, unable to escape. These ducks had obviously been on their backs for hours, maybe even days.”
‘A life of misery’
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Animal Justice Project spokesperson, Claire Palmer, said: “Duck farming in Britain symbolizes everything that is wrong with animal agriculture. Profit invariably comes before anything else in this industry – even an animal’s most basic needs.
“The duck industry has not improved over the years, it has got worse. Scenes of flailing and filthy birds on their backs are difficult to watch but are the sad reality for many, many farmed ducks.
“We don’t need to be subjecting these birds to a life of misery, or any animal. Animal Justice Project advocates a vegan diet, and we urge the government to stop subsidizing this cruel and unnecessary industry”.
According to the Independent, Gressingham Foods denied allegations that ducks were being mistreated – stating: “There is no evidence of abuse or neglect by Gressingham staff in this footage.”
Tesco and Sainsbury’s, who both stock meat from Gressingham Food, said they were ‘concerned’ with the claims and will ‘urgently investigate’ the matter.
All findings from Animal Justice Project has been sent to Red Tractor and Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)