Birds Tortured to Make Warm and Pricey Winter Coats

Workers in the down industry sometimes pluck the birds while they are still alive

By on November 29th, 2012 13:17 GMT

It was not very long ago that the foie gras industry caused quite a media stir, seeing how the processes of making this expensive delicacy comes at a heavy price for geese and ducks.

Presently, winter coats made from down are bound to also turn some greenheads, not because they look fabulous and/or incredibly comfortable, but because animal welfare activist Marcus Mueller decided to open up about what he witnessed while investigating this aspect of the fashion industry.

Marcus Mueller is presently working with the animal charity Four Paws, and Daily Mail says that he has spent numerous years looking into how various workshops collect the down they later sell to clothes manufacturers.

Apparently, workers prefer to pluck the feathers off geese while the birds are still very much alive, simply because doing so translates into the down's being of a much better quality.

This basically means that, when it comes to selling the down, those working in this industry witness their profits going higher than they would were they to show more consideration towards the birds.

“The men and women from the brigades work without feeling, grabbing terrified geese by their wings or legs, sometimes breaking them, always hurting them, as they tear out the birds’ feathers. When it’s over and the birds are bleeding, the wounds are roughly sewn up with a needle and thread without any anesthetic,” Marcus Mueller explains.

To make matters even worse, such tortures occur on a regular basis, and not just once in a goose's life.

As Marcus Mueller puts it, “When their feathers grow back after about five weeks, it happens all over again — and all so you can have a nice winter coat.”

According to this animal rights activist, this practice is fairly common in Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Hungary.

Because down taken from live geese is sometimes sold by middlemen, “It’s impossible for manufacturers to be sure their down hasn’t been sourced from birds that were treated cruelly,” Marcus wished to emphasize.

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