The Humane Society of the United States has taken a novel approach to getting foie gras banned in New York State: It has asked the Department of Agriculture and Markets to apply a section of the law that forbids the sale of diseased animals or organs intended for human consumption.
The law is usually applied to rotten or mislabeled beef, but how could the agriculture commissioner not find livers that balloon up to 10 times their normal size and no longer function as they should free from disease? Not to mention that many of the ducks and geese who are force-fed with pipes two to three times a day to create this “delicacy” bleed to death as a result of puncture wounds.
While France is the largest producer of foie gras in the world, New York State produces the greatest amount in North America, so the ban would be a huge blow to the industry and a huge victory for the birds. And we’d be in good company. In September 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill banning the production and sale of foie gras in California starting in 2012. And in April, Chicago became the first city to ban the sale of foie gras.
If you’re a New Yorker, ask your state legislators to ban the force-feeding of birds for foie gras. (Check out pending legislation in other states here.) And tell Governor Pataki to stop using taxpayer dollars to subsidize factory farmers like Hudson Valley Foie Gras—who have also taken it upon themselves to commit hundreds of environmental violations.