New Policy About 'Live-Plucking Geese' Wants Your Opinion

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Originally Posted: 8 July 2010

New Policy About "Live-Plucking Geese" Wants Your Opinion

[Ed. Note: Please read About Live Feather and Down Production.]

FROM European Food Safety Authority

A scientific report is being put together by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) the on the practice of harvesting feathers from live geese for the production of down. The public is encouraged to comment on the subject from now until August 2, 2010. Please encourage the EFSA to ban this horrible practice.


Submit comments online - (Section 3)


About the Geese:

Geese raised for their down are plucked several times during their lives starting when they are 10 weeks old.

Some are then plucked another four times during their lives while others are live-plucked every six weeks until they reach maturity.

Most of the feathers are pulled from their chests. Experts have compared the process to pulling out every hair on a human’s head – one hair at a time.

Dr. Laurie Siperstein-Cook who is a veterinarian for the Sacramento SPCA said in a CBS interview, “I would liken it to torture. It must be horribly, horribly painful.”

Studies have shown that live-plucked birds have a spike in their heart rates and their blood glucose nearly doubles, which is an extreme sign of stress.

About the EFSA form:

EFSA’s Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) has launched an online public consultation on its draft scientific report on practice of harvesting feathers from live geese for down production

The consultation aims to gather the widest range of views to finalise the work and provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive scientific advice to EU decision makers. This second phase of the consultation was preceded by a technical meeting with EU Member States and stakeholders in May 2010.

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by 2nd August 2010 at 12.00. Please use exclusively the electronic template provided with the documents to submit comments and refer to the line and page numbers. Please note that comments submitted by e-mail or by post cannot be taken into account and that a submission will not be considered if it is:

  • submitted after the deadline set out in the call
  • presented in any form other than what is provided for in the instructions and template
  • not related to the content of the document
  • contains complaints against institutions, personal accusations, irrelevant or offensive statements or material
  • is related to policy or risk management aspects, which is out of the scope of EFSA's activity.

EFSA will assess all comments from interested parties which are submitted in line with the criteria above. After completion of the public consultation, the EFSA AHAW Panel will consider relevant comments in finalising the report due by the end of 2010. In addition, a technical report on the public consultation will be published.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!