Chinatown ducks animal welfare ad blitz

03 Nov, 2014 09:54 AM
Comments
6
 
The ads should be in other suburbs, because duck is not just in Chinatown

ANIMAL welfare activists have launched an advertising campaign with images of sick and distressed ducks at NSW farms, targeting Sydney's Chinese community, who they claim is fuelling the demand for duck meat.

Animal Liberation wants to raise awareness that millions of the birds are suffering on Australian farms because they are routinely deprived of water to swim or bathe in, it says.

"Water deprivation is one of the most severe welfare concerns within modern farming practices because ducks are designed for a life on water," campaign manager Emma Hurst said.

"It can lead to lameness, broken bones, breast blisters, loss of their centre of gravity, and skin damage from high ammonia concentrations."

The group placed ads, in Chinese and English, on the inside of 25 buses travelling through Chinatown and George Street, on street talk signboards, and in the widely read Chinese Sydney Weekly.

One of the street talk signs is in Parramatta, outside the Prince Peking Duck Restaurant, where a row of glossy, freshly roasted ducks hang by their necks in the window.

Ms Hurst said the group, using funds from animal protection institute Voiceless, targeted the Chinese community because the Asian market accounted for 80 per cent of duck consumption.

"It's part of a broader educational strategy. Most people are completely unaware about what's happened to animal before it ended up on the plate," she said.

"People have the right to know so they can make an informed decision."

Jonathan Yee, owner of the sprawling Emperor's Garden Restaurant at the paifang entrance into Chinatown, said it was unfair to target Chinese businesses because duck was featured in many cuisines.

"The ads should be in other suburbs, because duck is not just in Chinatown. To have it where one cuisine is predominantly based, that's quite biased," he said.

Any impact on the 150-a-day sales rate of roast ducks through his Emperor restaurant and barbecue shop would be a big concern, he said.

Business has been sluggish and consumer confidence low this year.

Efforts by animal welfare campaigners to stamp out shark fin led him to cut the dish from his menus two years ago, he said.

But it was unlikely the same fate would be met by the Peking duck dish, which was hugely popular.

Mr Yee conceded he had never inquired about the welfare conditions of ducks from his supplier of 30 years.

Campaign 'misleading'

John Houston, chief executive of Pepe's Ducks in Windsor, one of Australia's largest duck producers and supplier to Woolworths, slammed the campaign as misleading.

About three-quarters of the 90,000 ducks churned out each week at Pepe's farms are sold at Asian restaurants and butchers across Australia.

"All Pepe's Duck farms and contractors are audited and licensed by the NSW Food Authority," he said.

"Any farm not licensed would not meet our compliance, and would therefore be unable to farm ducks."

One of its clients is the grandiose China Republic restaurant on George Street, which features custom-made duck ovens built by an Australian who carried out three years of research in China. The ovens can roast 20 ducks an hour.

Mike Wang, a consultant for China Republic, said he was not against the ad campaign.

"I think animal welfare is really important, and we should make sure we're not destroying things and treating animals badly," he said.

"But it's part of many people's diet and I don't think it will affect sales."

The Haymarket Chamber of Commerce declined to comment.

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READER COMMENTS

Bushie Bill
3/11/2014 11:13:02 AM

This is equivalent to an illegal indirect/third party boycott and should be treated as such in exactly the same way as unions or othe bodies are treated when they introduce illegal third party boycotts. The Chinese restaurateurs and their customers should seek legal advice on their rights to carry on legal businesses without harassment. If these activists believe ducks or any other livestock are being mistreated, they have an obligation to provide evidence. They have absolutely no right to harm third parties.
Humane Being
3/11/2014 11:29:25 AM

Like dogs, cats and horses, ducks want to live rather than be quickly fattened and killed while young. The fact that dead ducks hanging in rows and tables of humans in rows eating the ducks is commonplace doesn't make it good, right or necessary. Science now amply demonstrates, as does the tens of millions of vegans (10 million in China) and vegetarians that plant protein is less destructive to the environment, much better for health and compassionate toward animals who, like you, don't want to die. We deserve better and so do they. Change is here and growing.
John from Tamworth
4/11/2014 3:45:40 PM

Chinese food is so delicious
CQ
5/11/2014 8:12:46 AM

City Bill, if you had read the story carefully, you would know that the activists have positively communicated their message via legitimate advertising mediums. (bus advertising and sign boards) Therefore, your suggestion about restaurants and customers seeking legal advice has no foundation. You are advocating discrimination. You can't ban activists from advertising animal welfare concerns, but allow companies selling products to engage in it.
Cam
10/11/2014 8:09:26 AM

It pains me to say this, but I agree Bill.
mark2
20/11/2014 4:57:45 PM

Cam, i think it's the first intelligent post BB has ever written. BB and the libbers share a similar trait....lack of logic

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