Ditch the Down! PETA to Call Out Target Execs During Annual Meeting Over Bird Welfare Hypocrisy

For Immediate Release:
June 11, 2024

Moira Colley 202-483-7382


During Target’s virtual annual meeting tomorrow, a PETA representative will grill executives over why the company continues to sell items made with cruelly obtained down feathers despite claiming that it’s committed to ensuring “high standards of animal welfare” and knowing about the rampant abuse exposed by PETA at nearly 50 down industry operations in six countries.

PETA will point out that Target was implicated in a PETA Asia investigation into Vietnamese duck farms and slaughterhouses, which revealed that ducks suffered from gaping and bloody wounds, languished in filthy sheds and on lots strewn with feces, and were stabbed in the neck while still conscious. Feathers from these facilities were later sold under the misleading Responsible Down Standard label—including by at least one supplier to Target.

“Every down item on Target’s shelves spells misery for sensitive birds, who are violently stabbed and hacked to pieces before their feathers are stuffed into pillows and duvets,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Target to live up to its supposed commitment to ethical sourcing by ditching down altogether.”

PETA entities have released nine exposés of the down industry, each one proving that filth, suffering, and violent deaths are industry norms. One exposé revealed that a farm in Russia that was reportedly Responsible Down Standard–certified didn’t even know that it was and had been failing to stun birds before hacking off their heads with a dull axe.

Here’s the full text of PETA’s shareholder question:

Target’s assertion that it is committed to the highest ethical and animal welfare standards contradicts PETA’s findings at nearly 50 down industry operations in six countries, many of which are so-called “responsible” suppliers, including at least one we know supplied Target. Many ducks had bloody wounds or were too ill to stand. At one slaughterhouse, a worker drove a blade through birds’ necks while they were still conscious, and many continued to move for minutes afterward. You must not bury your head in the sand and claim there isn’t a problem. When will Target put its words into action by banning the sale of duck and goose down feathers?

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—points out thatEvery Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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