PETA US Sends ‘Bloody Duck Foot’ and ‘Axe’ to H&M CEO in Protest of Down Sales

London – A pointed message is on its way to H&M Group CEO Helena Helmersson over the company’s support of the down industry, which cuts the feet off live, struggling birds and hacks at their necks with axes before their feathers are stuffed into jackets. The package – containing a fake bloodied duck foot and axe – will include a letter from PETA’s founder reminding the H&M executive about investigative footage that shows the cruelty animals endure at these operations and asking the company to ditch down and leave birds in peace.

“We hope this ‘bloody’ axe and ‘duck’s foot’ will serve to remind you that your company’s choice to continue using down is helping to prop up an industry that mutilates and cruelly slaughters birds,” writes PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk in the accompanying letter. “Consumers don’t want to support animal abuse, and we urge you to drop down in favour of innovative vegan materials.”

Contrary to H&M’s claims that “no animals should be harmed” in the making of its products, PETA Asia’s 13-month investigation into duck farms and slaughterhouses across Vietnam – which provide misleadingly named “responsible” down to suppliers, including one that listed H&M as a customer – revealed ducks suffering from gaping and bloody wounds inside dirty sheds and on lots strewn with faeces and being stabbed in the neck.

At another operation in Vietnam certified by the Responsible Down Standard, ducks’ feet were cut off while they were still conscious. PETA Asia also investigated “responsible” down farms in Russia, where a worker was seen stretching the necks of geese across a stump and repeatedly hacking at them with a dull axe while the birds shrieked and struggled. H&M has removed the “responsible” down label from its online listings – indicating that it knows the designation is a sham – but it continues to sell down jackets.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on FacebookX (formerly Twitter)TikTok, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]