Document Type

Report

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

Duck production in the United States shares many of the same intensive husbandry practices found in the chicken and turkey industries, despite being much smaller in scale. The vast majority of farmed ducks are reared in dimly lit sheds with high stocking densities and without access to water for swimming, a significant welfare concern for these aquatic animals. Lameness, feather pecking, respiratory problems, and eye infections are common, and most birds are subjected to bill-trimming, a physical mutilation known to cause pain. The stress and physical trauma of catching and crating for transport, as well as the journeys themselves, further compromise duck welfare. Inappropriate and inefficient stunning procedures may result in birds experiencing painful electric shocks before slaughter or having their throats slit while fully conscious.

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