I HAVE recently become aware of the shameful conditions on duck farms supplying major supermarkets.

Animal group VIVA has filmed ducks crammed into dirty stinking sheds in their thousands. Dead and dying birds, disabled ducks thrashing around on their backs in distress, unable to right themselves, and the most unbelievable abuse of all no water for these aquatic animals to bathe, preen or even clean themselves.

These conditions are not exceptional, they are the norm - the really sad result of today's intensive farming systems.

Like most people I did believe supermarkets expected high welfare standards for their meat suppliers, but sadly, almost all duck meat on sale in the UK supermarkets, shops and Chinese restaurants for that matter, comes from factory farms and we the public are eating the products of these farms!

Yet another animal has been added to the list of those abused on a nearly unimaginable scale. Eighteen million ducks are bred for meat in the UK every year.

Anyone who has seen the pictures of how these pathetic creatures are mistreated knows just how hollow are the supermarket chains of caring about animal welfare.

M WILKINS, Southampton