Although found to be the nation’s favourite waterfowl, 93% of respondents to a recent YouGov poll were unaware farmed ducks do not legally have access to bathing water.
Results of the survey – commissioned by the RSPCA – highlight the fact consumers are often unaware of the conditions in which ducks live on farms. In fact, only 21% said they had ever thought about how they are reared for meat in the UK.
The poll found that 93% were unaware that it is not a legal requirement for farmed ducks to have bathing water they can get into on a farm – a revelation 78% of UK adults said they were “appalled” about.
Legally, farmers are only required to provide ducks with water to drink, and even the duck industry’s own standards (Red Tractor) only require ducks to be able to cover their heads with water.
This is why the RSPCA has launched a new report, entitled “Watertight: the case for providing farmed ducks with full body access to water“.
RSPCA duck welfare expert Marc Cooper said: “Ducks are waterfowl, therefore 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.
“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.”