SPRINGFIELD -- March 9 -- Farm Sanctuary, a leading farm animal shelter and advocacy organization, today commended the Illinois Senate Executive Committee for passing Senate Bill 413 (S.B. 413), the "Force Fed Birds Act." S.B. 413, introduced by Sen. Kathleen L. Wojcik (R-28), seeks to ban the force feeding of birds and the selling of products that are the result of force feeding birds, commonly known as "foie gras."
Senator Wojcik's introduction of S.B. 413 comes on the heels of the passage of a similar bill in California, which made California the first state in the U.S. to ban the force feeding of birds to make foie gras. In addition to banning foie gras production, the California legislation also prohibits the sale of foie gras in the state, effective in 2012. Outside of the U.S., foie gras production is banned in at least a dozen European countries, as well as Israel, once the world's third-largest producer of the product. Other states with similar pending legislation include Oregon, Massachusetts and New York, which has the largest foie gras production facilities in the U.S.
"We commend Senator Wojcik for her compassionate commitment to keeping foie gras production out of Illinois," said Farm Sanctuary President, Gene Bauston. "Compassionate citizens across the U.S., and indeed the world, are looking toward Illinois legislators in hopes that they will help pass this landmark legislation and keep the momentum going to eliminate this cruel product in the U.S."
A recent Zogby poll found that nearly 80 percent of Americans, when educated about how foie gras is produced, support a ban on the force feeding of birds to make this expensive food item. Foie gras, a French term meaning "fatty liver," is the enlarged, diseased liver of ducks or geese that are force fed as a pipe is shoved down their throats several times daily. Confined in small pens or individual cages barely larger than their own bodies, these birds are forced to ingest amounts of food far in excess of what they would eat in the wild. In a matter of weeks, their livers expand up to ten times their normal size until they reach the diseased state of "hepatic lipidosis," in which they no longer function properly. It is this diseased, fatty mass that is sold as foie gras.
For more information about foie gras production and legislation banning foie gras production in both the U.S. and worldwide, see http://www.NoFoieGras.com .
About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary, the nation's largest farm animal rescue and protection organization, operates shelters in Orland, CA and Watkins Glen, NY and has rescued and placed hundreds of abused farm animals. With a membership of over 100,000 people, Farm Sanctuary runs several advocacy campaigns and educational outreach projects. More information can be found at: http://www.farmsanctuary.org .