According to the international animal welfare organization Four Paws, Patagonia is using down feathers that have been plucked from live geese. Four Paws claims to have dug up evidence that Patagonia is buying down from a source in Hungary that practices live plucking.
Down is either harvested after the goose has been killed or by what is called molt plucking. Molt plucking is about timing the feather plucking to coincide with the natural molting process of young geese, making the feathers easier and less painful to harvest. Although live plucking is illegal in some European countries, molt plucking appears to still be accepted.
According to Four Paws, the reality is that whether or not the geese are molting, they are severely injured during the plucking process and in many cases demand stitches. The geese often become stressed and crush themselves to death in the corners of the barns.
Four Paws is currently in conversation with Patagonia about this issue. I wonder what other outdoor companies get their down via live plucking of geese? What do you think- should all forms of live plucking be banned, molting or not? Will you still buy a down jacket or sleeping bag if you know it contains feathers plucked from a live goose?