Down can be obtained:
a) from plucked animals that have already been slaughtered (dead plucked) or
b) from the much more brutal live plucking
Most down come from plucking, in which the down and feathers are torn from the animals’ skin during their lifetime. Sometimes this is even done automatically.
Live plucking is banned in Germany and the EU but most of the down used in Germany comes from China, Hungary, and Poland, where plucking by living things is common.
“Plucking troops”– hired for this alone- often injure the animals when they ruthlessly pluck live chords, especially when the feather of the down is still immature, which tears and tears the skin during plucking.
Larger wounds are sutured immediately and broken wings are only sparsely tied without anesthesia.
Plucking live birds is prohibited in the EU – unless the animals lose their down on their own when changing their feathers.
During this time they are allowed to strip them from their plumage (“feather change-molting”).
In many farms, this means that the plumage of the entire herd is plucked under the pretext of molting – even if the animals do not all change feathers at the same time, of course.
Most of the down comes from Asia (80% from China), where it is common to tear the feathers out of birds while they are alive. In Europe, a lot of down comes from Hungary and Poland
So far there are no independent certificates or seals that exclude live-plucking from down products. The existing seals and certificates were introduced by the down industry itself to reassure customers.
Since the retail and production chains for down are very opaque and there are hardly any controls, a buyer can never be sure whether the down of a product comes from live-plucked birds or whether geese and ducks were killed to get their feathers.
And with the purchase of down products, the cruel foie gras industry is also supported, because many foie gras farms benefit not only from the production of foie gras but also from the sale of the feathers of ducks and geese.
German bed manufacturers “officially” condemn live-plucking but let it happen from the back door.
A few years ago a “down dealer” from “Report Mainz” shot a false sales pitch with a leading German bed manufacturer on video.
The footage suggests that bed makers are actually still interested in plucking live animals.
The managing director announced the following to the alleged “Downtrader” – “Report Mainz” reports:
“Officially, I only buy from” Change Feathers “. Live plucking is never official. That is nonsense. We know that it has to be plucked. But under no circumstances can I buy it officially. If someone asks, just tell them it’s from “change feathers”. Who can check this? “(= That is why we reject the product” Down “in general and without compromise).
Not only “normal” abattoirs that are cruel to animals are supported with the purchase of down, but also the foie gras industry in particular.
Apart from the fact that most of the animals had to live in terrible conditions before they were slaughtered.
Live plucking for economy
The practice of live-plucking is banned in the EU (except when the geese are on feather change). Nevertheless, it has been proven several times in Hungarian companies in recent years. Live plucking seems to be particularly widespread in China, where a large part of the down sold in this country comes from.
And I mean…Every year around 10,000 tons of down and feathers are imported to Germany, mainly from Poland, China, and Hungary. Live plucking has a long tradition in Hungary and around 300,000 animals are plucked every year.
During live-plucking, the geese’s feathers are pulled out while they are still alive.
That hurts a lot, and it’s animal cruelty
For the poultry industry, this practice is many times more lucrative than plucking after slaughter, as an animal can be plucked four to seven times until it dies before it is slaughtered.
The fact that the geese are allowed to pluck when their feathers fall on their own does not mean that this procedure is followed consistently because this time is difficult to determine and individually from animal to animal. It is unlikely that an institution can determine this for each individual bird.
We regard this animal product in the same way as milk, leather, fur, or meat because it is also associated with painful origins.
Any consumer with a basic conscience and brain has to boycott this product; There are great variants of down that warm and protect just as well.
This is the only way we can damage the bloody down-industry and significantly reduce the suffering of these animals
My best regards to all, Venus