(illustration by Jazelle Lieske)
One of the most horrible facts about the ostrich slaughter process is that to save the birds' feathers for the feather trade, they are defeathered before throat-cutting in a fully conscious state. Either they are physically restrained in a "plucking box" with hoods over their heads, or (in the U.S.) they are electrically immobilized--not stunned--for "dry hand picking" and "clipping," with "wing tips and tail removed as the final step of the picking process" (Ratite Slaughter Inspection Guidelines, USDA, Oct. 30, 1995). This is before slaughter.
Tell British Airways to cancel their plans to offer ostrich meat to passengers. Tell them you are thoroughly disgusted at the thought of an ostrich on a plate. Request an immediate written reply. Ostriches have strong family ties. They are magnificent nomadic creatures in nature, and that is where they belong.