Last updated 28 September 2020

Increasing evidence is emerging that birds are intelligent, complex creatures, and ducks are certainly no exception to this. Research has shown that ducklings possess the ability to grasp the concept of ‘same’ and ‘different’ as well as being capable of abstract thinking. These abilities have been attributed to many highly intelligent animals, including parrots, crows, humans, and apes. There is indisputable evidence that ducks are sentient creatures, capable of experiencing pain and suffering. 

In Australia, ducks are farmed for their flesh; however, many consumers in Australia purchase down products made from the feathers of ducks farmed overseas. Nearly all commercially sold duck meat in Australia is from ducks that have been raised on intensive farms, where they will never spend time outdoors and are denied the ability to express behaviors that are natural to them.

The Australian duck farming industry is dominated by two intensive producers: Pepe's Ducks PTY LTD, who boast a kill rate of 70,000 ducks per week, and Luv-a-Duck PTY LTD, who claim around 100,000 deaths per week(1)(2)(3). Pepe's Ducks operates production farms in New South Wales, while Luv-a-Duck is based in Victoria(2)(4). In 2011, Luv-a-Duck had a turnover of $AU60 million(3). Overall the industry is worth well over $AU100 million, and the Poultry Hub website states that the industry is expanding at a rate of more than 5% each year(1).