Thursday, November 16, 2006

Groups Sue New York State Seeking To Ban the Production and Sale of Foie Gras

What is foie gras and why is it bad?

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:


Animal rights groups seek NY foie gras ban

Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:21 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Animal rights groups sued New York on Wednesday seeking to ban the production and sale of foie gras in the state, which is a leading U.S. supplier of the duck and goose liver delicacy.

Four groups filed suit against the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets at Albany County Supreme Court, The Humane Society of the United States said.

"Animals should not be kept sick and dying to appease the palates of a few gourmands," Carter Dillard, director of farm animal litigation for The Humane Society, said in a statement announcing the suit.

"The Department of Agriculture and Markets needs to follow its own law and put an end to this cruel and inhumane practice."

The other plaintiffs were Farm Sanctuary, Government Accountability Project's Food Safety Program and the New York State Humane Association.

The state agriculture department could not comment on the suit because it had yet to receive a copy, an agency spokeswoman said.

The animal rights groups asked the department in June to stop the production and sale of foie gras, saying a state law makes it illegal to produce food from diseased animals.

They argue ducks and geese are force-fed for weeks until their livers become fattened

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