The RSPCA is extremely pleased that Tesco supermarket has committed to stocking ducks that will be given full body access to bathing water from next year.
This follows our campaign launched 3 months ago, in September 2012, to draw attention to the fact that the welfare of ducks raised for meat in the UK was ‘getting worse’.
The ‘Like a duck to water’ campaign asked supporters to urge supermarkets to only stock duck which had full body access to bathing water.
Now Tesco has committed to offering their customers a Tesco branded, whole, fresh duck reared to RSPCA standards in 2013.
They have also said they will consider whether to extend the range to duck meat portions.
Tesco have more than a quarter (26 per cent) of the retail duck meat market.
Eloise Shavelar, RSPCA Campaign Manager, said:
We will now be working with Tesco to recognise their efforts in this area, being the first supermarket targeted in the campaign to take the issue of duck welfare seriously and change their policy. We hope the other retailers will follow suit and help improve the lives for millions of ducks.
We will also be sending a huge ‘Thank you’ to the more than 16,000 people who emailed Tesco and other supermarkets.
Freedom Food labelled duck is on sale at some branches of Sainsbury’s, and M&S requires RSPCA standards to be implemented across all its own-label duck meat, but this is not independently verified by Freedom Food.
A Tesco spokesperson said:
Animal welfare is an important and sensitive issue for many of our customers and we take our responsibilities in this area very seriously. Following a review of our product range, we will be offering our customers duck reared to RSPCA Freedom Foods standards in 2013.
Around 14.7 million ducks were reared for meat in the UK last year – only a third of them to our welfare standards. They are the third most farmed animal for meat in this country.
We will continue to mobilise concerned members of the public to contact Asda, Morrisons, The Co-operative Food and Waitrose, who do not source any duck meat from farms that provide ducks with full body access to water and therefore do not provide a higher welfare duck meat option to its customers.
For consumers to be sure the duck they purchase has come from farms where full body access to water has been provided, they should look for the Freedom Food logo.
To find out more information about the Like a duck to water campaign visit the web page
Or for more information about Freedom Food visit their webpage