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Pure pain
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There is nothing enviable about the fate of the ducks and geese destined for force-feeding. To produce foie gras (commercial fatty liver), the animals are subjected to stressful conditions and disease. These conditions are even more traumatic in the industrial centres that have sprung up to market cheap livers.

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Females exterminated

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.

Force-feeding

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.

Slaughter

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.


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