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Down & the bedding industry

Update 18/05/2017

SUCCESS: TK Maxx has responded our supporters’ demands


TK Maxx responded just before the end of the campaign. They accepted the Blood Feather award and turned it into something positive: They have agreed to stand up for the geese and ducks in their supply chain.


TK Maxx was not doing enough to credibly guarantee that cruel practices such as live plucking and force feeding were not taking place in their supply chain. They were ignoring our 40Lives campaign and our efforts to get in touch. Luckily, over 13,000 FOUR PAWS supporters contacted TK Maxx directly, asking them to budge. And it worked!


We finally heard from TK Maxx the night before our planned Blood Feather Award ceremony. Regardless, we went ahead and delivered the award at their headquarters. It was THE red carpet event of the year.

The TK Maxx Group Director accepted the unwanted award in person, and TK Maxx has since met with Four Paws UK – committing to credibly excluding force feeding and live plucking from its down products.

Update: TK Maxx is now due to receive the Blood Feather Award

Four Paws staged an action to call on retailer TK Maxx to commit to only sourcing down & feather - commonly used in duvets and other bedding products - which excludes cruel practices such as force-feeding and live-feather plucking, which are common in down production.


40 cuddly geese toys were placed outside TK Maxx in London in what was an eye-catching and highly impactful stunt aimed at encouraging TK Maxx to finally budge.


TK Maxx is now due to receive the Blood Feather Award. A delegation from FOUR PAWS UK will be delivering the award to TK Maxx’s headquarters in the coming weeks. In the meantime we still have time to put pressure on them.


We need your help:


  • Send TK Maxx an email asking them to speak up for geese and ducks in their supply chain. Please email:
  • Tweet @TKMaxx_UK to say NO to cruel practices in bedding products

TK Maxx is the last shop from our list which has not said no to live plucking and force feeding

You might not know, but the duvets and pillows that provide us with comfort may be linked to shocking cruelty. To fill a single duvet with down, 40 birds can be tortured in the most appalling way. The agonising practice of live plucking is still sadly prevalent in the production of down, while many birds that end up in down products have also been force-fed for the cruel production of foie gras.


We have taken a look under the covers of the bedding industry in the UK, and discovered that many major retailers and manufacturers simply do not have robust enough systems in place to ensure that force feeding and live plucking do not occur at any point throughout the supply chain.

Throughout this campaign, we have been naming the retailers and sharing information on the efforts they are making to protect the animals in their supply chain. We've also asked supporters to vote for the nominee they would like to receive the prize nobody wants to accept: the Blood Feather! Have a look at our campaign website.


Our campaign has already brought about significant change. Thanks to your votes of disapproval, Argos, Debenhams and The White Company have now committed to implementing higher traceability standards to ensure to the highest extent that the down they sources does not originate from live-plucked or force-fed animals.


We only have one shop left! TK Maxx. The voting is now over. They will be receiving our Blood Feather award.

© FOUR PAWS International | Robert Klump

TK Maxx cannot guarantee that their supply chain is free from live-plucked or force-fed animals. Let’s urge them to follow the others and speak up for ducks and geese.

FOUR PAWS has launched a campaign calling on the bedding industry to take responsibility for where it sources its down from, to ensure cruel practices such as "live-feather plucking" and force-feeding for foie gras are excluded from the supply chain.


Find out more about the campaign here:


Click on the links below to find out more about how the companies are currently tracing their down.





House of Fraser

John Lewis



TK Maxx

The White Company



Good traceability


A good traceability system includes controls throughout all steps of the down supply chain. In the ideal case, audits begin at the parent farm and end at the final product. Good traceability systems include: controls of as many of their farms as possible, audits have to be annual and most of the audits have to be unannounced. It should not be allowed to keep a group of cruelly treated animals on the same farm as animals that are not live plucked or force-fed. Controls also have to be strict at the slaughterhouse and the washing facility, to make sure certified down is not mixed with down from force-fed animals.


Commonly Implemented Audit Systems and Standards