Are your Amazon purchases funding animal abuse?

In May 2013, a Mercy For Animals investigator documented a culture of cruelty at Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Ferndale, New York, a company that falsely bills itself as "the humane choice for purchasing foie gras." The shocking undercover video footage shows:

  • Workers violently grabbing ducks by their wings and necks and then shoving metal pipes down their throats
  • Countless ducks hyperventilating as their unnaturally large livers pressed against their lungs making it difficult for them to breathe
  • Dead ducks—killed by the cruel force-feeding process—callously thrown away into garbage bins
  • Workers callously grabbing and tossing ducks by their fragile wings into transport cages
  • Birds with open, bleeding wounds left to suffer in tiny wire cages without proper veterinary care
  • Fully conscious ducks being shackled upside down and having their throats cut open

After reviewing the undercover footage, Dr. Greg Burkett, DVM, a board-certified avian specialist, stated: "If one looks at the production of foie gras for what it really is—causing a healthy liver to become diseased by forced overfeeding—then eating it could leave a whole different taste in your mouth."

Dr. Nedim Buyukmihci, emeritus professor of veterinary medicine at the University of California, wrote: "This overfeeding will lead to liver enlargement and malfunction, causing chronic metabolic dysfunction and illness. The ducks at this facility, therefore, are being subjected to extremely inhumane conditions causing them to suffer greatly."

Workers at this foie gras facility admit that the force-feeding process is so abusive that ducks routinely die from it. Some of the ducks simply choke to death, while others succumb to slow and painful suffocation as their unnaturally enlarged livers press against their lungs and make it impossible for them to breathe.

Force-feeding birds to produce foie gras is considered so blatantly cruel that the practice has been outlawed in California and more than a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Israel.

A comprehensive report by the European Union's Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare examined the production of foie gras and unequivocally concluded: "[F]orce-feeding, as currently practised, is detrimental to the welfare of the birds."

Dr. Ward Stone, a senior wildlife pathologist at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, stated: "[T]he short tortured lives of ducks raised for foie gras is well outside the norm of farm practice. Having seen the pathology that occurs from foie gras production, I strongly recommend that this process be outlawed."

According to Dr. Ian Duncan, a poultry welfare expert and professor in applied ethology at the University of Guelph in Canada, "[F]orce feeding quickly results in birds that are obese and in a pathological state, called hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease. There is no doubt that in this pathological state, the birds will feel very ill. In my view it is completely unethical to deliberately promote a diseased state in an animal."

But it doesn't take a scientist to understand that foie gras production is cruel and unjustifiable. 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.

Unfortunately, Amazon.com—the world's largest online retailer—perpetuates this blatant animal abuse by continuing to sell foie gras worldwide. Amazon.com has both the power and ethical responsibility to help end the cruel force-feeding of ducks by ending the sale of foie gras.

Please urge Amazon.com to do the right thing. Take action here.

Then consider taking further action to help prevent cruelty to ducks and other farmed animals by rejecting foie gras and other animal products, and adopting a compassionate vegetarian diet.

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