Friday, May 26, 2006

Philadelphia Councilman Introduces Proposal To Ban Foie Gras: What is Foie Gras?

Foie gras (translated literally from French as "fatty liver" and pronounced 'fwah grah') is produced by cruel and inhumane farming practices. At just a few months old, ducks are confined inside dark sheds and force-fed enormous amounts of food several times a day. A farm worker grabs each duck and, one by one, thrusts a metal pipe down their throats so that a mixture of corn can be forced directly into their gullets. In just a matter of weeks, the ducks become grossly overweight and their livers expand up to 10 times their normal size.

As a result, ducks raised for foie gras have difficulty standing, walking, and even breathing. Many of them die before the end of the force-feeding cycle, and the mortality rate for ducks raised on foie gras farms is among the highest in the farming industry. Necropsies performed on foie gras ducks have shown extreme obesity, impaction of undigested food in the esophagus, lacerations in the throat, and a proliferation of bacterial and fungal growth in their upper digestive tracts.

More information on foie gras can be found at:


Philadelphia councilman introduces proposal to ban foie gras

Thursday, May 25, 2006

(05-25) 16:10 PDT PHILADELPHIA, (AP) --

A city councilman who believes foie gras is the result of cruelty to birds introduced legislation Thursday that would ban the sale of the delicacy in Philadelphia.

Councilman Jack Kelly's proposed ordinance comes on the heels of a similar prohibition adopted by the Chicago City Council last month.

Foie gras, which means "fat liver" in French and is pronounced "fwah GRAH," is created by force-feeding birds — usually ducks or geese — until their livers are several times the normal size.

"Force-feeding birds to make an expensive appetizer is cruel and unnecessary, and it should not be condoned in our society," Kelly said in a statement.

The measure was supported by the Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal protection organization based in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Some Philadelphia-area restaurateurs have already stated their opposition to Kelly's legislation. Joel Assouline of Assouline & Ting, who supplies foie gras to about 400 restaurants, has said a ban would force him to lay off five or six of about 25 employees.

More than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, have banned foie gras production. Several states have considered the measure, and California will end the force-feeding of birds to produce the gourmet product by 2012.

Kelly's bill, if approved, would take effect 90 days after its passage.

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