Wednesday, June 07, 2006

HSUS Has Filed a Notice of Intent to Sue Hudson Valley Foie Gras for More Than 900 Documented Violations of the Federal Clean Water Act

Excellent move. This not only exposes the cruelty of Foie Gras, but also how it touches on the environment.

For those who don’t know, foie gras is essentially the liver from a dead duck who was force-fed via a tube overly large quantities of foods in order to increase the liver beyond its usual size. As you might imagine it’s an extremely painful process. So, essentially, it’s hell on earth for them, and then they’re slaughtered. Quite a life.
More information on foie gras can be found at:


Foie Gras Claim Alleges 900 Violations Of Clear Water Act

WASHINGTON--The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has filed a notice of intent to sue Hudson Valley Foie Gras for more than 900 documented violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Such notice is required under the Clean Water Act before suit may be filed in federal court.

Last month, the State of New York granted Hudson Valley Foie Gras more than $400,000 in taxpayer funds to expand its facility that violently force-feeds birds to produce foie gras-a paté made from the diseased livers of ducks and geese. State officials publicly defended that decision by claiming that the factory farm is in compliance with all applicable state laws.

However, in the legal notice filed Tuesday with Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the HSUS documents Hudson Valley Foie Gras's alleged longstanding track record of polluting the state's waters in violation of the Clean Water Act. According to the State's own records compiled from Hudson Valley's monitoring reports, the facility has allegedly committed more than 900 known violations of federal and state environmental laws since 2001, including illegal discharges of chlorine, fecal coliform, and ammonia into the Middle Mongaup River. Since the incidents are self-reported, the factory farm may have also caused other unreported discharges and violations.

"The State of New York apparently thinks that more than 900 violations of the Clean Water Act constitute full compliance with applicable law," stated Jonathan R. Lovvorn, vice president of Animal Protection Litigation for The HSUS. "It's inexcusable for the State to be funding a facility that not only cruelly force-feeds animals, but also flouts federal and state environmental laws."

The production of foie gras is one of the most notorious practices in the animal agribusiness industry. To enlarge the birds' livers, producers force-feed them for two to four weeks, shoving a pipe down their throats two or three times each day. This can cause painful bruising, lacerations, sores, and organ rupture. The birds' livers become diseased and can enlarge more than ten times the normal size, making it difficult for the birds to move comfortably. Often, the birds are intensively confined in filthy warehouses.

In 2005, Assemblyman Jack McEneny (D-Albany) introduced a bill that would ban the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese in New York. Due to animal welfare concerns, California and more than a dozen countries have banned the production of foie gras, and Chicago recently banned its sale.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with 9.5 million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research, equine protection and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy and field work. The non-profit organization is based in Washington and has field representatives and offices across the country. The organization is on the web at

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