To begin with the production of foie gras leads to the death of
millions of female ducklings. The young females are killed at
birth due to regulations passed in 1996 stipulating that only
male ducks should be force-fed. Apparently the males produce a
better quality of foie gras. The females are disposed of like
young male chicks in the poultry industry: they are placed alive
on conveyor belts leading to a grinder, or are sometimes suffocated
in large sacks. Videos have been filmed with hidden cameras that
show the animals crawling over corpses in the throes of death.
After reaching adulthood, after preliminary force-feeding for
about ten days to dilate the oesophagus of the web-footed birds
(400d/day for a duck, 700g for a goose), they enter the phase
preceding death: 15 days for ducks, 18 to 24 days for geese. The
geese receive around 900g of food per day, in 3 to 5 sessions
(rarely 5). Mulard ducks, sterile hybrids that are mostly a cross
between Muscovy ducks and mallards, account for 95% of force-fed
ducks (only 5% are pure” Muscovy”). These ducks are
fattened up with daily feeds of 800g or more in two sessions.
Even in France most breeders use industrial systems, which are
either electric or electro-pneumatic. A mallard is injected with
half a kilo of damp corn in 5 seconds! That is like 12 kg of spaghetti
arriving in your stomach twice a day in 5 seconds.
In slaughtering the animal has to be bled quickly and completely
to prevent traces of blood on the liver, which will make it less
valuable, but preliminary stunning through electro-narcosis does
not stop the animals from suffering. They are hung by the feet
and plunged into a bath of electrified water. They splash around
convulsively during this phase and sometimes continue to flounder
as their throats are slit.