Bank of the West Removes Ostrich-Farm Ad From Website After PETA Appeal

Move Comes After Banking Giant Learns That Birds Are Hit, Shocked, Killed, and Skinned for Burgers and Bags

For Immediate Release:
July 20, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

San Francisco – After learning from PETA that ostriches are electrically shocked, slaughtered, and plucked to create the bumpy-textured skin seen on fashion accessories and sofas, San Francisco–based financial services company Bank of the West agreed to pull an ad from its website that showed a woman consulting with the company about her retirement goal of starting an ostrich farm. As thanks, PETA is sending the bank a box of delicious bird-shaped vegan chocolates.

“Intelligent, curious ostriches are loving and attentive parents if given the chance, but on ostrich farms, they’re denied everything that’s natural and important to them before they’re slaughtered for their flesh and skin,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA hopes Bank of the West’s decision to stop endorsing this cruel industry will encourage people everywhere to practice kindness to ostriches by opting for chic vegan bags and other accessories.”

Earlier this year, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—released the first-ever exposé of the highly secretive ostrich industry, in which young ostriches were kept in barren dirt feedlots until they were trucked to slaughterhouses. There, workers turned the 1-year-old birds upside down in a stunner, ejected them to slit their throats, and plucked their feathers.

Bank of the West has more than 700 branches in the Midwest and western United States.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind