The RSPCA has called on the Government, food producers and allied businesses to improve the welfare of farmed ducks, following revelations that less than a third are raised to higher welfare standards.

The RSPCA has called on the Government, food producers and allied businesses to improve the welfare of farmed ducks.

UK press published images of crowded barns where ducks have no proper access to bathing water.Welfare concerns have prompted a series of stories in the national press after it was revealed less than a third of the 13 million farmed ducks in the UK were raised to higher welfare standards.

Images of crowded barns where ducks have no proper access to bathing water prompted the British Poultry Council (BPC) to release a statement earlier this week defending its Duck Assurance Scheme (DAS).

The DAS guarantees that ducks have access to open water to dip their heads under, to preen and to allow them to toss water on to their feathers for conditioning.

However the RSPCA believes these measures do not go far enough.

A spokesman said: “The RSPCA believes ducks should have full body access to water and this is possible for ducks reared on Freedom Food-approved farms.

“The RSPCA standards go further than DAS standards, which only insist that ducks can dip their heads in water and, therefore, denies them from carrying out their full range of water-related preening behaviours.”

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