Ducks - what are we doing?

We're working in a number of different ways to raise welfare standards for farmed ducks in the UK and beyond:

RSPCA welfare standards for farmed ducks

Farmed duck in open water source © Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA Photolibrary

We encourage all producers to rear their ducks to our detailed RSPCA welfare standards for domestic/common ducks.

The RSPCA welfare standards have been developed to ensure higher standards of welfare are met from hatching through to slaughter.

Along with many other requirements, the standards specify that ducks must have full body access to water to carry out their important water-related activities such as preening. 

Research on farmed duck welfare

In 2008 the RSPCA commissioned the University of Cambridge to undertake a three year research project to examine what open water facility design is best to enable ducks to carry out their important water related behaviours.

We consulted with the duck industry, including producers, vets, researchers and other poultry experts, to discuss the results of the research and consider how best to strengthen our welfare standards for domestic/common ducks in this area. New standards have been developed, which build on the current requirements.

These new standards also take into account research published by other academic institutions. The new standards will be published in 2015. The research was supported by The Tubney Charitable Trust.

If you're concerned about the welfare of farmed ducks then you may like to know how you can help.

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