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Ducks kicked, grabbed by the throat, trampled and beaten to death

Nieuws: 5 juli 2018

An undercover operative of Animal Rights International, using a hidden camera, captured serious animal abuse and suffering at three duck farms in the Netherlands. The images show how ducks are caught by their necks and are thrown into crates for transport. Animal Rights International director Susan Hartland says: "Ducks are kicked, grabbed by the throat, trampled and beaten to death. These are nauseating images."

Tomassen Duck-To

The undercover operative infiltrated the three duck farms via a catch crew of poultry service company, in February and March. Together with a team he had to 'catch' ducks and put them in crates. In this way, barns with thousands of animals are cleared in a few hours. The fully loaded crates are stacked into a truck and transported to other farms or to duck slaughterhouse, Tomassen Duck-To in Ermelo, the Netherlands.

Ducks are kicked, grabbed by the throat, trampled and beaten to death. These are nauseating images.

Susan Hartland, Animal Rights International

Animal Abuse

The undercover footage shows how the frightened animals are driven into the catch corral by using a lot of noise and clamour. There is complete panic among the animals. Ducks that do not respond quickly enough are kicked or thrown into the catching corral where the catch team starts working. The ducks are grabbed by the handful, by their necks and thrown and pushed into crates.

No supervision

A lack of supervision causes the predominantly young catchers to abuse the already terrified ducks: a duck is thrown, put on someone's head or is played tag with. Ducks that are unsuitable for slaughter are beaten to death against the wall or stood on with the full weight of the men with the intention to crush their heads. The images show that it is not affirmed whether the animals are actually dead when they are thrown away. For the ones that do not die quickly, they are subjected to horrible suffering. For example, a 'crushed-to-death’ duck that is still clinging to life, perishes in a bucket.

We must never tolerate these abuses.

Susan Hartland, Animal Rights International


Every year 8.5 million ducks are slaughtered by Tomassen Duck-To for meat, down and feathers. Most of the meat is for export. The feathers and down are processed in pillows and duvets from Auping and Swiss Sense and these products bear the animal welfare label of: Responsible Down Standard (RDS). At the beginning of this year, Animal Rights International won a case at the Advertising Code Committee because Auping incorrectly stated on its website that the ducks on the breeding farms live healthy lives, suffer no pain and experience no fear or stress.

Hartland: "The incriminating images have been sent to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) so that immediate action can be taken. We must never tolerate these abuses."