Most Ducks Farmed Without Full Body Access to Water

2 March 2015, at 10:48am

UK – Farmed ducks are not legally required access to bathing water in the UK, an animal rights group has stressed after a series of consumer polls.

Only seven per cent of respondents to a Royal Association for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) commissioned survey were aware of duck rearing conditions.

The RSPCA has said that, on the whole, ducks get water to drink, but little more.

Red Tractor standards require ducks to be able to cover their heads in water, stated the RSPCA.

Dr Marc Cooper,RSPCA duck welfare expert, said the fact that the “vast majority” of farmed ducks are not provided with fresh water was “disheartening”.

"Ducks are waterfowl, therefore they should be provided with water that allows them full body access,” said Dr Cooper. “This is not only good for their health, as it helps keep their eyes, nostrils and feathers clean, but it also allows them to do the things they naturally want to do.”

He called on consumers to learn about how ducks are reared and the industry to learn from its report and help improve duck welfare.