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Farm Sanctuary: Undercover Investigation Reveals Gratuitous and Sickening Abuse at Canada’s Largest Foie Gras Producer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 12, 2007
8:00 AM

CONTACT: Farm Sanctuary  
Cara Hoffman, Farm Sanctuary, 607-583-2225 ext. 254, choffman@farmsanctuary.org

 
Undercover Investigation Reveals Gratuitous and Sickening Abuse at Canada’s Largest Foie Gras Producer
Farm Sanctuary and Global Action Network Uncover Illegal Practices at Foie Gras Operation, Urge for Prosecution
 

WASHINGTON - JULY 12 - Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, and Canada’s Global Action Network have released video and photographic evidence, taken by an undercover investigator of multiple animal cruelty violations committed at Elevages Perigord, Canada’s largest foie gras production facility in Quebec. The evidence has been submitted to Canadian authorities and both groups are urging prosecution.

The photo and video evidence shows horrifying conditions endured by ducks and geese used in the production of foie gras, many of which violate Canadian animal welfare laws including:

• Tearing the heads of live ducks off

• Kicking, throwing and punching ducks

• Leaving ducklings to die of hypothermia and asphyxiation inside trash cans

• Bashing live ducks against walls and floors

• Suffocating and crushing live ducklings

• Force feeding ducks

• Slaughter of fully-conscious ducks

“The evidence provided to the authorities in Canada shows clearly that the production of foie gras leads to egregious callousness and cruelty,” said Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary. “We’ve seen it in U.S. foie gras producers, and now we’ve seen it in Canada. There’s no getting around it. Foie gras equals cruelty.”

The birds, who are de-beaked, de-toed and forced to live in extreme confinement in filthy, poorly-maintained cages, have liquid feed pressure-pumped down their throats through a metal pipe several times a day. This force feeding is known to cause bruising, lacerations, sores, organ rupture, and even death. It also creates the grossly oversized and diseased “fatty liver” for which foie gras is named. Gasping, vomiting and struggling to move, the birds endure this process every day at the end of their short lives.

Andrew Plumbly, director of Global Action Network, said: “This industry has no place in civilized society and we are asking the Canadian government to outlaw the production of foie gras immediately. We are also calling on all consumers and food distributors to make the compassionate decision to stop buying foie gras.”

Several researchers, scientist and veterinarians have viewed the footage and issued statements on the severity of the violations. Among them is Mohan Raj professor at the school of clinical veterinary science at the University of Bristol, UK. Who stated: “Force feeding of ducks and geese is one giant leap backward in human civilization. It is a cruel practice that must be stopped immediately.” .

Baur, Plumbly and Raj’s statements are echoed by a growing number of professionals who have issued statements and opinions on the practices at Elevages Perigord including Dr. Michael Appleby, welfare policy advisor for the World Society for the Protection of Animals; Veterinarian Laurie Siperstein-Cook, and Ian Duncan, Chair of Animal Welfare at University of Guelph in Ontario.

About Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif. provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at http://www.farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607-583-2225.

About Global Action Network

Global Action Network is a multi-issue animal protection organization working to eliminate cruelty to animals. We achieve our goals through education, consumer action, investigations, legislative reform and media relations. Currently, Global Action Network has active campaigns on animals in entertainment, fur, factory farming, Canada’s seal hunt and the dog meat trade in the Philippines. For more information on GAN and animal issues go to www.gan.ca.

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