It was great to see Jamie Oliver talking about the importance of farmed ducks having full body access to water on Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast (November 24, Channel 4).
A recent poll by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals revealed 88 per cent of people think ducks farmed for meat should be given water they can fully get into.
But most readers will probably be shocked to know the majority of farmed ducks are only given enough water to be able to dip their heads in. In fact the law states they do not have to be given anything other than drinking water which could be from a metal ball bearing drinker, similar to those used by pet hamsters.
This is worrying because as waterfowl, ducks need a life in and around water. And just as the wild ducks we see on ponds and rivers need to splash, preen and immerse themselves in water to keep clean and healthy, so do farmed ducks.
Sadly, there are currently no duck producers farming to the RSPCA’s welfare standards for ducks, under the RSPCA Assured label, which insist they must be given full body access to water.
To help put pressure on your supermarket to stock duck that has had full body access to water, visit www.rspcaassured.org.uk/lobby-your-supermarket
RSPCA senior scientific officer