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California | Animal Liberation

Schwarzenegger Terminates Foie Gras in California
by Humane Society of the US
Thursday Sep 30th, 2004 11:29 AM
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization, today commended California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing S.B. 1520, which bans the force feeding of ducks and geese for pate de foie gras production and prohibits the sale of products resulting from that process.
Schwarzenegger Terminates Foie Gras in California; HSUS Urges Consumers Nationwide to Reject the Inhumane 'Delicacy'

9/29/2004 10:16:00 PM

To: State Desk

Contact: Rachel Querry of the Humane Society of the U.S., 301-258-8255 or rquerry [at] hsus.org

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization, today commended California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing S.B. 1520, which bans the force feeding of ducks and geese for pate de foie gras production and prohibits the sale of products resulting from that process.

California and New York are the only two states in the U.S. that produce foie gras.

"Governor Schwarzenegger should be commended for his humane and compassionate actions," said HSUS President & CEO Wayne Pacelle, who appealed to Gov. Schwarzenegger earlier this month to approve the measure.

Foie gras is produced by confining ducks and geese, and mechanically pumping a huge amount of food into their stomachs twice a day. The force feeding process used to produce foie gras is an extreme exaggeration of a process that birds once needed to store fat in preparation for migration. But in an industrial setting, their livers expand up to ten times their normal size in a matter of weeks. Birds force fed in this way quickly deteriorate; many can barely stand, walk, or even breathe. Some of them die because of ruptures in their digestive tracts. Those who survive are slaughtered and their diseased livers are sold as the so-called delicacy known as "foie gras," the French term for "fat liver."

Michael Appleby, HSUS vice president for farm animals and sustainable agriculture, testified in favor of the bill at a state Assembly hearing earlier this year.

"The force feeding of ducks and geese is one of the harshest practices in contemporary animal agriculture and caring consumers can make a difference by simply refusing to purchase or consume foie gras," said Appleby.

California is home to one foie gras producer, who will have until 2012 to shut down the operation or convert it to another use. Groups backing the bill in addition to The HSUS include Farm Sanctuary, the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, Los Angeles Lawyers for Animals, and VIVA!USA.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than eight million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animals and sustainable agriculture. The HSUS protects all animals through legislation, litigation, investigation, education, advocacy and fieldwork. The non-profit organization, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2004, is based in Washington, DC and has 10 regional offices across the country. On the web at http://www.hsus.org