Welfare group embarks on duck campaign

The RSPCA is campaigning for farmed ducks to have more access to bathing water, and has urged consumers to think more about ducks’ welfare standards.

The organisation commissioned a YouGov survey that it believed indicated that customers know little about how ducks are reared. The RSPCA said that, legally, ducks are not required access to bathing water, something that its survey showed 93% of respondents were unaware of, and 78% were “appalled” by.

Dr Marc Cooper, RSPCA’s duck welfare expert, commented: “Ducks are waterfowl, so they should be provided with water that allows them full body access. This is not only good for their health, as it helps keep their eyes, nostrils and feathers clean, but it also allows them to do the things they naturally want to do,”

The survey revealed that 41% of respondents said duck was their favourite waterfowl, which makes it “the countryside’s most loved water bird”. However, the organisation added: “Only around half that amount (21%) said they have ever thought about how they are reared for meat in the UK.”

Cooper concluded: “It is disheartening that we are in a situation where the vast majority of farmed ducks are not provided with full body access to water. We want consumers to know the facts about how farmed ducks have been reared, and we want the industry to take on board the evidence within the report and help improve the lives of millions of ducks.”

The RSPCA’s new report ‘Watertight: the case for providing farmed ducks with full body access to water’ can be viewed here

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