A disturbing undercover video at Hudson Valley Foie Gras showing ducks and geese struggling as tubes are forced down their throats, dead ducks in buckets, bloodied ducks left uncared for without veterinarian intervention, and fully conscious, frightened ducks shackled by their legs and having their necks slashed was released on Tuesday by Mercy For Animals.
Mercy For Animals, a California based animal advocacy organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals filmed the egregious animal cruelty of the farmed ducks between April and May 2013. The organization is urging Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retail vendor of Hudson Valley to ban the sale of foie gras on their website.
Amazon.com currently bans the online sale of whale meat, shark fin soup, and animal fighting videos because of the cruelty involved.
At one-week of age, baby ducks are fed grain diets for four weeks. At four-weeks of age, they are then fed high protein diets to maximize their weight and growth. From eight to ten weeks the ducks are force fed a mushy corn mixture three times a day using a gavage. Up to four pounds of grain are forced down their throats engorging the ducks’ livers from a normal size of three ounces to over a pound. The gross enlargement of their livers causes hepatic lipidosis; the fatty liver which becomes an expensive delicacy.
The animals’ livers press against their lungs making it difficult to breathe leading to slow and painful deaths from suffocation. Other ducks choke and die as they are force fed. Some die from neglect and mistreatment.
According to The Huffington Post in an interview with operations manager Marcus Henley for Hudson Valley, he stated there was nothing wrong with how the ducks were handled:
“This is very standard piece, where it’s just the dead duck pictures. We have provided our mortality statistics to the press previously. They’re about the same as a chicken farm. There’s nothing unusual or extreme about what we’re doing. When you show a picture of a dead animal, taken out of context, then it’s inappropriate.”
Foie gras has been banned in California since July 2012. Retail stores Costco, Safeway, Giant Eagle, and Target will no longer sell the product. The United Kingdom, German, Italy, and Israel among other countries have banned the sale because of the cruelty involved. Famous chef Wolfgang Puck refuses to use foie gras.
“The practice of force feeding amounts of food far beyond the limits of the duck’s need to eat causes pain and suffering. Ducks are highly capable of feeling pain especially in the throat area. They have a gag reflex that would be overcome by the tube insertion, and this would cause distress in the bird,” stated Dr. Debra Teachout, DVM, MVSc.
Nathan Runkle, Mercy For Animals’ executive director stated:
“Shoving a metal pipe down the throat of an innocent animal, and then force-feeding him grossly excessive
amounts of food to induce a disease state is blatant and unacceptable cruelty to animals.Amazon has the power and ethical responsibility to take a stand against this egregious animal abuse by immediately ending its sale of foie gras.”
For more information and what you can do to end the cruelty of foie gras sales on Amazon.com, please click here
Please be warned the video is very graphic and may not be appropriate for all viewing audiences.
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