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Down: FOUR PAWS launches awareness campaign


With the "Cruelty Free Down Challenge" FOUR PAWS is now inviting top outdoor brands like FjällrävenJack Wolfskin, Mammut, Mountain Equipment, VaudeNorth Face and Patagonia  to take on the traceability challenge.


Down is a prized commodity for the outdoor equipment industry: every year, hundreds of tonnes of it are processed, from millions of ducks and geese. These days many outdoor equipment manufacturers state that the feathers they use come only from birds that were reared and killed for meat, and that were only plucked after slaughter. However, there is often very little concrete traceability information.

Still tons of down are still originated to geese and ducks being live plucked or force fed.

“Cruelty Free Down Challenge” shows development in traceability of down products

Together FOUR PAWS some outdoor brands have recently started to make the down supply chain traceable and transparent. According to how far along the traceability development curve they are, they will be ranged on a symbolic mountain. Five steps must be fulfilled to reach the summit. As a company satisfies the next criterion, it can move up the mountain. If a brand reaches the summit, this means they can prove as far as possible that their down did not come from live-plucked or force-fed birds.


First Level: Firms have defined traceability as a corporate goal

Second Level: Firms are already checking farms to make sure they are not force feeding or live plucking

Level 3 – 5: Firms have to take further measures to improve traceability, such as inspecting farms unannounced

Online petition against live feather plucking and force feeding

Both live feather plucking and force feeding are cruel practices that are torture for the birds. FOUR PAWS is fighting these animal cruelty with an online petition. Show your support by signing our online petition: