Search icon

News Section Icon Published 6/19/2019

Yesterday, Compassion USA stood outside New York City Hall in Manhattan alongside Voters For Animal Rights and a coalition of more than 50 other animal protection organizations to demonstrate its support for Intro 1378, a resolution to ban the sale of poultry products from force-fed birds—namely foie gras.

Introduced by Councilwoman Carlina Rivera earlier this year, Intro 1378 would ban the sale and procurement of foie gras for food establishments throughout the city of New York, penalizing violators with up to a $1,000 fine and one year of jail time.

FG Geese Force Feeding France
A goose being force-fed at a foie gras factory farm.

As an organization committed to ending factory farming, Compassion in World Farming takes a hard stance against force-feeding ducks and geese in order to fatten their livers to produce foie gras.  Birds on foie gras factory farms suffer some of the cruelest, worst-of-the-worst practices in our current food and farming system.

For up to three long, gruesome weeks, waterfowl on foie gras factory farms experience near-constant physical and emotional trauma. Two to three times a day, in a process known as “gavaging,” a foot-long metal tube or plastic pipe is forcibly inserted into the animals’ mouths and down their esophagi, dumping massive quantities of high-fat corn mix directly into their stomachs. The size and frequency of these already abnormally large deposits only increase throughout the bird’s brief, horrific stay.

[Click here to see undercover footage from a foie gras factory farm in Europe.]

The result of this overtly cruel practice is the enlargement of a bird’s liver up to 10 times its natural size. This swelling is due to the sheer magnitude of forced fat intake, a disease veterinarians diagnose as hepatic lipidosis—and what the meat industry affectionately dubs “foie gras” (French for “fatty liver”). Along with the development of a painful disease, there are a number of other physical and emotional welfare consequences directly linked to the force-feeding of ducks and geese: esophageal rupture, broken bones, and respiratory infection among the most serious.

foie gras liver size.JPG
Liver Size Comparison. Left: normal, healthy liver. Middle: enlarged, diseased, foie gras liver. Right: matchbox. (Image: GAIA)

When not being force-fed, birds are cruelly confined to small wire cages, where they are unable to stand, turn around, or extend their wings. Unfortunately, ducks and geese destined for foie gras production almost never experience fresh air, sunlight, or the thrill of swimming through water—their most natural behavior.

To put an end to this heinous factory farming practice, Compassion USA provided written and oral testimony to the New York City Council’s Committee on Health in favor of the proposed ban on the sale of force-fed foie gras. You can watch our US Partnerships Manager, Cynthia von Schlichten, deliver an oral testimony on behalf of Compassion USA below:

Many governments around the globe have already banned either the production or sale of force-fed foie gras, including: the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Argentina, the state of California, and more. With the support of 81% of NYC voters, it’s time we add the Big Apple to that list as well.

If you live in NYC, please join us and hundreds of other animal advocates calling on the City Council to ban the cruel, force-fed foie gras industry.

Find out how you can stand up for ducks and geese at https://www.nycfoiegras.com/.