An animal rights organization has criticized a 'responsible down' committee after learning that its charter requires a confidentiality agreement and allows discussions to be off the record.
Peta for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] has written to the Textile Exchange's Responsible Down Standard [RDS] International Working Group [IWG] as well as dozens of global retailers who sit on the IWG to discuss what it describes as 'the shady lack of transparency'.
PETA has also withdrawn its participation in the group.
A PETA video about down production
According to PETA, "The RDS already requires only 50 percent compliance with 'minor' requirements.
"This allows suppliers to get away with practices that systemically harm animals - including punching holes in birds’ feet; clipping their wings; declawing, dumping, and throwing hatchlings; and failing to provide them with protection from extreme weather conditions or predators. "
In addition, PETA claims the confidentiality agreement reveals a further bias toward the interests of companies, suppliers, and producers that profit from down rather than a commitment to animal care.
PETA Director of Corporate Affairs, Anne Brainard, said: "PETA has pushed the committee since day one to act to reduce suffering, but it’s clear that it’s focused on protecting companies, not animals.
"PETA will continue to work directly with companies to urge them to ditch down and embrace warm and sustainable feather-free materials that no animal has to suffer and die for."
PBN has contacted RDS for a response to PETA's claims.