Activists accuse Quebec foie gras maker of cruelty

12th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

MONTREAL, July 12, 2007 (AFP) - Animal rights activists on Wednesday accused the largest producer of foie gras in Canada, with links to a French group, of cruelty to ducks.

MONTREAL, July 12, 2007 (AFP) - Animal rights activists on Wednesday accused the largest producer of foie gras in Canada, with links to a French group, of cruelty to ducks.

The Global Action Network unveiled images of live ducks being decapitated, beaten, thrown against walls and floors, and ducklings left to suffocate in plastic bags purportedly at Elevages Perigord's poultry farm and food processing plant south of Montreal.

"This industry has no place in civilized society and we are asking the Canadian government to outlaw the production of foie gras immediately," Andrew Plumbly, director of the animal protection group, said in a statement, noting it has been banned in 14 countries.

"We are also calling on all consumers and food distributors to make the compassionate decision to stop buying foie gras," he said.

The birds are force-fed several times a day, he alleged, causing bruising, lacerations, sores, organ rupture, and even death. It also creates the grossly oversized and diseased "fatty liver" for which foie gras is named.

The birds, meanwhile, are left gasping, vomiting and struggling to move, he alleged.

The Global Action Network claimed the video was shot covertly over 12 weeks by an ex-employee of Elevages Perigord, which is a subsidiary of France's Excel Developpement.

But none of the footage clearly showed the location, with no company signs or logos visible.

"We've launched an investigation," Jason Gauthier of the Quebec police told AFP. "But we have to determine first that the images are indeed from Elevages Perigord."

Such cruelty, if proven, would violate Canada's animal welfare laws.

Elevages Perigord planned to react to the accusations later in the day, a company spokesman said.

Canada started making foie gras in large quantities about 10 years ago. Today, a dozen companies, most of them in French-speaking Quebec province, produce about 200 tonnes of it annually, using 100,000 ducks.

About 30 percent of it is exported to the United States.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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