1. The origin of feather and down
As the filling material of down products, down and feathersare sourced from the body surface of ducks and geese. Down and feathers are a byproduct of duck and goose meat industry.
2. The Proportion of Duck Down and of Goose Down
Of the total down production in China, duck down accounts for 90%, and 10% for goose down. The majority of Chinese people like eating duck meat, and the growth period of duck is quite short, just about 40 days. Therefore, raising and slaughter can be done every day without having seasonal interference. Conversely, the growth period of goose is quite long, about 5-6 months. Hatching can be done only once during spring. What’s more, fewer people enjoy eating goose meat. Therefore, the production of duck is much larger than that of goose.
3. The Origin and Current Status of Live Plucking
a. Because of the short growth period, advanced large scale farming, and higher production rate, the price of duck down is much lower than that of goose down. As such, there is no live plucking during the process of duck breeding and slaughter.
b. Originated from old customs in eastern European countries, live plucking is only suitable for rare and particular goose species. It aimed to help goose moult during moulting season. In 20th century, live plucking was introduced to China. However, because it goes against animal welfare and has high production cost, live plucking has never been commonly adopted by goose breeding farmers. Since 2009, aside from concerns raised by and supervision from animal protection organizations, China Feather and Down Industrial Association proposed for “the refusal of live poultry products” within the industry. As a result, live plucking no longer has its foothold in the China down industry. Moreover, due to the increased labor cost and a higher death rate caused by live plucking, no one is willing to do any business related to live plucking.
4. The position of China Feather and Down Industrial Association (CFDIA)
CFDIA advocates the protection of animal welfare, opposes animal abuse, and leads the China feather and down industry to fulfill its social responsibilities. Hundreds of enterprises have made solemn promises of animal welfare protection since 2009 when CFDIA appealed them to sign the “Non Live Plucked Products Guarantee” and consciously resisted the purchase, process or sale of live plucked products. CFDIA won’t permit any organization or individual to spread scary stories, misguide, or defame China down industry.