New York State Senator Tony Avello has introduced a bill, S.B. 456, that would make it illegal under the state’s animal cruelty law, NYS AG & Mkts. Law Section 353, to “force feed a bird, by hand or machine, for the purpose of fatty enlargement of [the] bird’s liver”. This would make production of foie gras in New York illegal animal cruelty.
Mercy for Animals has released camera footage of the force feeding of ducks and geese in New York at Hudson Valley Foie Gras. There are two known facilities that produce foie gras in the state. This bill would shut them down. The disturbing undercover video shows ducks and geese in dire pain as tubes are forced down their throats. The video reveals ducks left for dead, covered in blood. There are conscious ducks, shackled, while their throats are slashed.
In 2004 California enacted a state law, Cal Health & Saf Code §§ 25980-25984, to outlaw not only the production but also the sale of foie gras statewide. The law took effect in 2012. Go here for more on earlier efforts to ban foie gras production in New York.
Foie gras is considered a delicacy. It is fattened duck or goose liver. To make foie gras, producers confine ducks or geese in sheds and force feed them extraordinary quantities of food two or three times each day for some weeks. To force feed these animals, a metal pipe is shoved down their throats. Food is then pushed through the pipe into their stomachs. The birds are forced to consume each day ¼ to 1/3 of their body weight. The force feeding results in livers swollen to ten times their normal size and fatty liver disease. The animals have difficulty standing, walking and breathing. They choke and suffer ruptured throats. Their legs become crippled and they develop sores.
These birds are denied all natural behaviors as they are tortured each day in a dark shed. Many die during this process. It is an understatement to describe it as a cruel and inhumane process.
Surely, humans do not need to torture animals to create delicacies.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Find your New York state senator here. The bill, S.B. 456, has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee. Find committee members here. Call or write (faxes or letters are best) your state senator and committee members and urge them to support an end to cruel force feeding of ducks and geese.