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Australian duck farms: Deprivation and disease

In farms, ducks are given no access to water to swim or bathe in. They are forced to use their legs to carry themselves for the 7 weeks of their life before they are sent to slaughter.

ANIMALS AUSTRALIA: ‘Just like chickens, the majority of ducks raised for meat in Australia live in crowded and filthy conditions in factory farms. But, ducks also have a very specific need that most farms (including free range) do not meet — ducks need water. And lots of it… In farms, ducks are given no access to water to swim or bathe in. They are forced to use their legs to carry themselves for the 7 weeks of their life before they are sent to slaughter. This causes frequent lameness, dislocation and broken bones amongst ducks on farms. Build up of urine and faeces on the floor of factory farms makes the surface slippery and increases the chance of ducks injuring themselves.

The lack of sufficient water also prevents ducks from being able to clean themselves properly, leaving them vulnerable to heat stress, infection and a disease called ‘crusty eye’ which can leave them blind. European welfare standards recognise that farmed ducks must be provided with sufficient water for hygiene and swimming. Most duck farms in Australia are failing to deliver even this most basic welfare requirement for ducks…

Eye infections or ‘crusty eye’ are a common occurence for ducks in duck farms, and are largely left untreated. Injuries and abrasions on their legs and feet are also common as they have delicate feet which are not designed for walking on rough shed floors. The resulting open wounds leave them highly susceptible to a range of infections… Ducks who have been selectively bred for fast weight gain to meet ‘production demand’ experience extraordinary pressure on their heart, lungs and legs. This can result in difficulty breathing and standing up, joint pain, dislocations and fractures’. SOURCE…

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