Cruelty Exposed: Live Birds’ Feathers Ripped Out on Down Farms

For Immediate Release:

26 May 2016


Sascha Camilli +44 (0)2078376327 ext 235; [email protected]


PETA US Exposé of Goose Farms in China Raises Grave Doubts Over So-Called ‘Responsible Down Standard’

London – A new PETA U.S. exposé of goose farms in China, the source of 80 per cent of the world’s down, shows that workers pin geese down and rip their feathers out as they struggle and scream. Many endure this torture multiple times before finally being slaughtered. All the farms in the video footage have connections to retail suppliers that are certified by the so-called Responsible Down Standard (RDS), which prohibits live plucking of geese yet allows suppliers to handle live-plucked down – raising concerns over the legitimacy of the RDS certification.

In response, PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – is calling on retailers to stop selling down products and instead sell only the high-tech down-free products that companies already offer, thereby assuring 100 per cent cruelty-free garments.

“There’s simply no guarantee that the feathers inside any jacket or pillow weren’t ripped out of a screaming goose’s skin”, says PETA Managing Director Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on kind retailers and consumers to ditch down in favour of high-tech synthetics that are compassionate, warm and hypoallergenic – and even insulate when wet.”

A representative from Jilin City Bailing Down Products, which receives live plucked feathers from a cooperative in the exposé, admitted, “The plucking is done in secret; we’re unwilling to pluck openly”, and, “[W]e advertised that it’s all plucked after slaughter – nobody dares to buy it if you say it’s live-plucked”, calling into question whether live-plucked feathers find their way into products that are supposed to be free of live plucking. Bailing sells down to the RDS-certified Down Decor, a supplier to outdoor retailer Lands’ End.

All of the above should make consumers raise an eyebrow when they see a product labelled as responsibly sourced.

Broadcast-quality footage is available upon request, and photographs are available here. For more information, please visit