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An undercover investigation of duck farms in Indonesia has shown how the factory farming of ducks is as cruel as their equivalent for chickens in the West. Investigators of Act for Farmed Animals and We Animals Media revealed the sad reality of the lives of 60 million ducks of the duck egg-producing farms in Indonesia.

The high-quality footage obtained shows that ducks are confined in tiny cages unable to walk or express their natural behaviour, are constantly getting trampled by other ducks and being roughly handled by workers, live in squalor exacerbated by dead bodies and excrement, and have skin problems and open wounds without any veterinary treatment —all conditions often discovered by other investigators in animal factory farms all over the world 

Haig, one of the animal photojournalists who obtained the footage, said: “Witnessing what other animals go through in these farms and slaughterhouses was heartbreaking. Some have been in battery cages for a year, others watched each other getting slaughtered and dismembered. I cannot imagine how in this day and age this is allowed. I hope this investigation brings important change that will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals who wish to experience freedom and the end of their suffering”

Ducks are aquatic birds and spend a large part of their lives in water, which is essential for them to perform important natural behaviours such as sieving, dabbling, preening, and head dipping. They cannot do any of that on these farms. In the wild ducks can live up to 12 years but in the factories they are killed at about 18 months when egg productivity declines, or at two months for ducks killed for flesh production. At “backyard-style” slaughterhouses, workers kill around 200 ducks each day, while at larger slaughterhouses between 500-1,000. The ducks’ throats are slit, and they are often fully conscious while they die.

In 2019, a similar investigation from the Act For Farmed Animals revealed shocking conditions in Indonesian chicken egg production, such as completely immobile animals in cages with untreated disease and dirty environments. This shows that the Indonesian egg production industry treats its birds as bad as they are treated in factory farms in America and Europe (although at least they do not force-feed them as in the French foie gras farms). This would be no surprise to any vegan in the world who perfectly knows that it is the concept of factory farming — rather than the behaviour of a particular farmer or the industry of a particular country — that is inherently cruel. Egg production, be that from Indonesian ducks, Texan chickens, or Spanish quails, means animal suffering. Something that ovo-vegetarians often don’t want to hear.