PETA’s 2017 eyewitness exposé of James Valley Colony Farms (JVC), a former Canada Goose down supplier, revealed that workers rounded up panicked geese, grabbing and carrying them by the neck as they struggled with their entire weight hanging down, and crammed them into densely packed cages for transport to slaughter. There is nothing ethical about the treatment of these geese.
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. 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, because all down comes from sensitive birds who didn’t want to be killed.
See for yourself what really happens to birds used for their down, and help stop this cruelty.
Crushed and Shrieking
Geese were herded into small wire pens, where they visibly panicked and trampled each other. Those 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 hauled them to transport crates by their necks as they shrieked and flapped their wings in distress. One worker repeatedly stepped on some geese while reaching for others. Then they were crammed into the crates with such force that the cages clanged.
Confined to Cramped Cages for Up to 24 Hours
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.” The trip to the slaughterhouse—Schiltz Foods in South Dakota—lasted over five hours, and 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
Once they’d 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 flapped their wings and moved their heads as they bled out. A veterinarian who watched the video footage believes that these birds were “showing signs of consciousness and sensibility”—meaning that they 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 the birds from 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 Birds
Every time someone purchases a Canada Goose down-filled jacket or any down-filled product, they’re supporting violence against animals. PETA filed a complaint with theU.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Canadian Competition Bureau alleging that Canada Goose was deceiving customers regarding the welfare of geese used for down in its products. Following the FTC’s investigation, Canada Goose no longer claims that its standards ensure that suppliers don’t abuse animals. Nonetheless, the company continues to mislead consumers by hiding the inherent cruelty involved in killing animals for coats.
The best way to help geese suffering right now is to avoid buying anything containing down. Canada Goose could easily ditch down today—urge the company to do just that!
Take Action Now
Please call on Canada Goose to stop selling down immediately, and let the company know that you won’t buy any of its products until it does so. With so many humane, warm materials available today—including PrimaLoft, Thinsulate, ThermoBall, and Plumtech—there’s no excuse for using down.