Duckling Rescues Prompt PETA PLEA: Don’t Buy Baby Animals for Easter!

For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Long Island, N.Y. – Every year after Easter, PETA receives a flood of reports about domestic birds who were purchased as props for photo shoots or Easter baskets and then abandoned. In just the last few weeks, PETA staffer John Di Leonardo has rescued over a dozen birds in New York—including three nearly dead chicks who were found in a box and two ducklings who had been bought by a man for his grandkids for Easter and kept in a bathtub—prompting PETA to issue an urgent plea not to buy baby animals for Easter. Photos and videos of the chicks and ducklings are available here.

  • Domestic ducks, chickens, and rabbits have specialized needs and require just as much veterinary care as any dog or cat. Adding one to the family is a commitment of 10 to 15 years.
  • Rabbits—who face widespread abuse in the pet trade—are the third most surrendered animals at shelters, and many chicks die when they’re shipped without food or water at just 1 day old.
  • None of these animals is equipped to survive in nature. For example, domestic ducks have been bred by the meat industry to have large bodies, small wings, and no camouflage, and most die within days after being abandoned because of predation, starvation, or lack of veterinary care.
  • Abandoning animals is a crime. Anyone who spots one dumped at a park or on the roadside should call their local humane authorities—or PETA—for help.

“The only bunny who belongs in an Easter basket is one who’s stuffed or made of vegan chocolate,” says Di Leonardo. “PETA urges families to remember that ducks, rabbits, and chickens are thinking, feeling individuals who need lifelong care, and they should never be bought as props.”

Di Leonardo’s local organization, Long Island Orchestrating for Nature, has been caring for the rescued chicks and ducklings.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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