LOS ANGELES, Calif. June 12 2013 - Shocking hidden-camera video of intentional animal torture secretly recorded at Hudson Valley Foie Gras—an Amazon.com foie gras supplier—has been released by the national animal protection organization Mercy For Animals (MFA). The video footage, available at AmazonCruelty.com, shows workers violently grabbing ducks by their wings and necks and then shoving metal pipes down their throats to force-feed them and produce diseased, fatty livers known as foie gras. MFA is calling on Amazon to immediately end the sale of foie gras on its website worldwide.
Between April and May of 2013, MFA's undercover investigator documented a culture of cruelty at Hudson Valley Foie Gras, including:
- Workers violently shoving metal pipes down ducks' throats
- Dead ducks—killed by the cruel force-feeding process—callously thrown away into trash bins
- Birds with open, bleeding wounds left to suffer without proper veterinary care
- Fully conscious ducks being shackled upside down and having their throats cut open
After viewing the undercover footage, Dr. Lorelei Wakefield, a veterinarian and animal welfare expert in New York, wrote: "Force-feeding in the foie gras industry is inherently cruel. In order to get the desired fatty liver, tubes are pushed down the birds' throats to near the stomach and a large amount of feed is forced down. This feeding beyond what the ducks would eat normally causes hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, which impairs liver function. Severe liver impairment can lead to conditions like enlargement of the liver, fluid in the abdomen and eventually death."
Forcing metal pipes down ducks' throats and cramming food into their stomachs in order to produce diseased, fatty livers is so patently cruel the practice has been banned in California and more than a dozen countries. Leading chefs, restaurants, and grocery retailers, including Costco, Safeway, Wolfgang Puck, Giant Eagle, and Target, refuse to sell foie gras due to its inherent cruelty.
MFA is now urging Amazon.com—the world's largest online retailer and vendor of Hudson Valley foie gras—to prohibit the sale of foie gras on its website. In the past, Amazon has stopped selling other products, including whale meat, shark fin soup, and animal fighting videos, due to their cruel production practices.
"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," said MFA's executive director, Nathan Runkle. "Amazon has the power and ethical responsibility to take a stand against this egregious animal abuse by immediately ending its sale of foie gras."
Mercy For Animals is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.
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