Info for Consumers

The down and feathers used in natural fill bedding products are an agricultural by-product of the food industry, much like leather. Ducks and geese are not raised for their plumage, but as an important source of nutrition for millions of people worldwide.

ADFC member companies do not support or condone illegal harvesting of feathers and down from live birds.

ADFC member companies are committed to the humane treatment of animals and have submitted signed statements certifying that the down and feathers in their products are gathered in accordance with animal welfare laws. Members also require their suppliers to certify that they have not used or condoned any illegal harvesting practices for down and feathers.

80% of the down and feathers used globally is produced in China; the majority – 90% – come from ducks. Duck meat is an important staple in the Chinese diet, one reason that China is the world’s leading supplier of down and feathers.

Because these birds are raised as food, there is no advantage to illegal harvesting, sometimes referred to as “live-plucking,” which is inhumane, expensive, and often damaging to the feathers.

Natural fill products, like down bedding, are a sustainable choice for several reasons:

  • They are bio-degradable, unlike synthetic products, many of which are petroleum based

  • They are a naturally occurring material

  • Down and feathers are a renewable resource

  • Using down and feather filling minimizes waste by making use of materials that would otherwise be thrown away

Visit our Consumer Information page for more on the benefits of down and feather.

Info for Retailers

Feather and down used in bedding products are a byproduct of the food industry. Ducks and geese are farmed for meat; down and feathers are harvested after the birds have been killed. The USDA classifies down and feathers as a byproduct of the food industry.
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/duck_&_goose_from_farm_to_table/
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ADFC member companies do not support or condone illegal harvesting of feathers and down from live birds.

Member companies have submitted to the Council signed statements certifying that the down and feathers used in their pillows, feather beds, comforters and other products are a byproduct of the food industry, collected during the cleaning process, and not from live birds.

Members stipulate, on their company purchase orders, that suppliers collect down and feathers using humane methods in accordance with industry standards and animal welfare laws, and require them to certify that they have not used or condoned any illegal harvesting practices for down and feathers.

There is no advantage to the down and feather industry in the so-called practice of “live-plucking.”  In addition to being inhumane, it is an expensive process that damages the feathers and down.

Where do ADFC members source down and feathers?
China produces 80% of the down and feather used globally; 90% of the down and feathers supplied by China come from ducks, an important dietary staple, the remaining 10% come from geese.

Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S. are additional common sources for ADFC member-manufactured products. Some ADFC members source down and feathers from Europe, where suppliers are required to meet EU standards for the treatment and handling of animals (98/58/EC; 2000/50/EC; 93/119/EC).

Please speak to your vendor for additional information on down and feather sourcing.