Exposed: Duckling’s Head Torn Off, Ducks Slammed Into Brick Wall at Poultry Supplier

PETA Eyewitness Video Reveals Horrifying Conditions at Harris Teeter Supplier Culver Duck Farms, Inc.; Indiana State Police Investigate

For Immediate Release:
October 11, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Middlebury, Ind. – A new PETA video exposé of Culver Duck Farms, Inc.—which is the second-largest duck slaughterer in the U.S. and claims to be a supplier to The Fresh Market, Harris Teeter, Asian food markets, and other grocery chains—reveals that workers slammed ducks’ heads against brick walls, the birds cried out between blows, and some kicked and flapped their wings for up to an hour afterward. One worker attempted to kill at least a dozen ducks by repeatedly wringing their necks or slamming them against a wall, while another worker pulled a baby duck’s head off and laughed about it. PETA submitted its evidence to the Indiana State Police, which has told PETA that its investigation is ongoing.

“PETA’s exposé reveals that birds at Culver Duck Farms are packed into ammonia-filled sheds, bludgeoned, and decapitated,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “We urge people to help stop this cruelty by rejecting duck meat, down, and feathers—which is easy to do.”

A supervisor at Culver—which apparently also supplies 30,000 pounds of duck feathers weekly to China for use in down products and claims to be the exclusive duck-meat supplier to Whole Foods—said that “twirling” ducks by the neck was his preferred killing method. “Twirling” left many birds still kicking and flapping for up to two minutes afterward. The eyewitness also learned that workers burned off the tips of ducklings’ sensitive beaks just hours after they hatched and documented that hundreds of the baby birds were dumped onto grated floors, where some died the same day.

Contrary to claims on Culver’s website that ducks are “NOT FACTORY FARMED!!!” but instead provided with fresh air and clean living space, workers crammed up to 4,000 ducks into massive, dark sheds, where the accumulated waste caused ammonia burns and many ducks to lose their chest feathers. Some ducklings appeared to go blind because mucus was covering their eyes, and a manager admitted on camera that “my eyes were watering when I came in, so the ammonia was bad. Really bad.”

Broadcast-quality video footage and photographs from PETA’s eyewitness exposé are available. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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