According to the ASPCA, during weeks of force feeding ducks or geese to produce the gourmet delicacy foie gras “the bird’s liver becomes so enlarged that, according to documentation of veterinarians, the animals must experience unspeakable pain and suffering. The results of necropsies performed on dead birds that were force fed shows ruptured livers, throat damage, esophageal trauma and food spilling from the birds’ throats and out their nostrils.”
Over the years many people worldwide have unsuccessfully petitioned or otherwise urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to stop this cruelty in Sullivan County, where the largest producer of foie gras in the nation is located.
Foie gras production is prohibited in most European nations, Argentina, Australia, Israel and California. California also banned foie gras sales. India, which has no foie gras farms, prohibits its import.
By contrast, the silence on this issue by Cuomo, Schumer, Gillibrand and by Attorney General Letitia James has been deafening. My own letters to these officials are unanswered. Why are they so indifferent to cruelty so awful that even Adolf Hitler banned it in Nazi Germany?
Bills in the New York Legislature that would prohibit foie gras production have received little support. However, in some countries, including Israel, foie gras production has been deemed illegal under general laws prohibiting cruelty to animals. It can and should be banned in New York under our already established laws — absent a specific law banning foie gras production.
On a national level, Schumer and Gillibrand should advocate for laws and policies prohibiting foie gras production and sales in the U.S.
Joel D. Freedman
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*headline changed at 8:11 p.m. to correct a typo in the headline.