Geese Crushed, Suffocated at Former Canada Goose Down Supplier

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After years of persistent pressure from PETA, our international affiliates, and grassroots activists around the world, Canada Goose is banning fur. This is a wonderful step forward! However, birds are still being violently killed before their feathers are stuffed into Canada Goose’s coats. PETA is placing a moratorium on our campaign against the company while we work behind the scenes to end its use of down.

Please take a few minutes to learn more about our investigation into Canada Goose’s former featured down supplier and learn how you can help birds still suffering in the down industry.

APETA eyewitness exposé of James Valley Colony Farms (JVC), a farm that has supplied Canada Goose with down, reveals that workers rounded up panicked geese, grabbing and carrying them by the neck, and crammed them into densely packed cages for transport to slaughter. Some geese were left in the feces-covered crates for up to 24 hours without food or water, including during a trip to the slaughterhouse lasting over five hours.

Although Canada Goose insists that it was no longer using this farm to source its feathers at the time of PETA’s investigation, the company showcased JVC’s claims of “tender loving care” of geese in a video on its own “down traceability” webpage as well as on YouTube and didn’t remove footage of JVC from its promotional materials until 2019—long after the investigation. But regardless of which feathers came from where, there’s absolutely no such thing as ethical down, despite Canada Goose’s claims—birds used by the industry are all slaughtered in violent ways. The company tells customers that it’s “deeply committed” to the “ethical sourcing of all animal materials”—but this is misleading at best, because all down comes from sensitive birds who didn’t want to be killed.

See for yourself what really happens to birds exploited for their down, and help stop this cruelty.

Gasping for Air and Shrieking in Distress

To make it faster to round up the geese for transport to slaughter, they were herded into small wire pens, where they visibly panicked and trampled each other. Geese on the bottom of the pile were crushed. At least one died, and a worker tossed the dead bird over the fence.

These distressed geese are climbing on top of each other in panic and fear, and some even suffocate.

Grabbed and Carried by the Neck

After the geese were confined to the pens, workers started grabbing them by the neck—often two in each hand—and hauling them to transport crates, as they shrieked and flapped their wings in distress. One worker repeatedly stepped on geese while reaching for other ones. Then they were crammed into the crates with such force that the cages can be heard clanging in the video.

Confined to Cramped Cages for Up to 24 Hours

The cages were so small that the birds were unable to hold their heads up even while sitting. A veterinarian who viewed the footage said, “Being confined to these small crates for prolonged periods would cause painful muscle cramping, unnecessary stress, and predispose anxious birds to injury.” After a trip down the highway to the slaughterhouse lasting over five hours, some geese were left in the feces-covered crates for up to 24 hours without food or water.

Watching in Terror as Others Are Shackled and Killed

JVC sent geese to Schiltz Foods in South Dakota—the largest goose slaughterhouse in North America—a grueling five- to six-hour journey, often in frigid temperatures. Once they had been unloaded for slaughter, the geese watched, terrified, as other frightened birds were again grabbed by the neck, stunned, shackled upside down by the legs, and killed right in front of them when workers cut their throats. Then it was their turn. A PETA observer saw that some birds continued flapping their wings and moving their heads as they bled out. A veterinarian who watched the video footage believes these birds “are showing signs of consciousness and sensibility”—meaning that the birds were awake as they choked, suffocated, or died of blood loss or shock, “an extremely painful and anxiety provoking condition.”

Why Do They Have 'Red Elbows'?

A PETA observer documented that about half of the birds from JVC had bruises on their wings—or even broken bones or dislocated joints—when they were being butchered. When the observer asked why the birds had “red elbows,” a supervisor at the slaughterhouse responded, “from putting them in the cages.”

What You Can Do to Help

Every purchase of a Canada Goose down-filled jacket or any down-filled product supports violence against animals. The best way to help geese suffering right now is not to buy anything containing down. Canada Goose could easily ditch down today—urge the company to do just that!

PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that Canada Goose was deceiving customers regarding the welfare of geese whose down was used in its products. Following the FTC’s investigation, the company no longer claims that its standards ensure that suppliers don’t abuse animals.

Take Action Now

Canada Goose has committed to no longer using fur, but it still sells coats stuffed with down feathers from birds who died violently in a slaughterhouse.

Please take a moment to contact Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss at [email protected] to thank him for the company’s decision to ban fur and encourage him to end its sale of down as well.

Here are some points that you might include in your letter, but remember that it’s always best to use your own words:

  • Thank you for joining the ever-growing list of fashion brands that are dropping fur. I appreciate that you’ve taken this meaningful step toward a more humane business model, but there is more work that needs to be done—specifically in behalf of the geese and ducks who are still confined and killed before their feathers end up in your company’s coats.
  • I just saw PETA’s eyewitness exposé revealing the abusive conditions on a farm that has supplied Canada Goose. Panicked geese were crushed, carried by the neck, and stuffed into transport crates for slaughter. When they arrived at the slaughterhouse, they could see other geese right in front of them being shackled and killed—until it was their turn. This is yet another example of the cruelty that birds face when they’re used for their feathers, and while you insist that JVC was no longer your supplier at the time of the investigation, that doesn’t change the fact that sentient birds continue to be violently killed before their feathers are stuffed into your jackets.
  • The best way to prevent animal suffering and ensure that Canada Goose’s clothing is ethical and humane is to stop using down and switch to modern, vegan insulators.

Take Action Now!