Ducks Crammed Inside Cages for Foie Gras
In 2013, a PETA investigator visited Palmex, Inc. (“Palmex”), a foie gras factory farm outside Montréal.
PETA’s investigation found that Palmex condemns gentle ducks to spend the last few weeks before they are slaughtered inside barren metal cages that are not much bigger than their own bodies. The ducks cannot spread a single wing or take even two steps in any direction. They are denied access to water to bathe and swim in. They are not allowed to live like ducks.
Palmex supplies diseased, bloated duck livers to Hot’s Kitchen (“Hot’s”), a little-known Hermosa Beach, California, restaurant that sells foie gras despite California’s ban on selling the vile product. In November 2012, PETA filed a lawsuit against the restaurant’s owner.
Palmex is also part of Rougié, the self-proclaimed “world’s #1 producer of foie gras.”
After reviewing PETA’s footage, Dr. Anthony Pilny, an avian veterinarian, concluded, “Ducks need to be able to move, walk, stretch, preen, bathe … and exercise. This housing denies and frustrates the ducks’ basic, biological needs, and it is cruel and inhumane. These animals feel pain, grief, and loss. It is unjust to treat them in this way …. ”
World-renowned avian welfare expert Dr. Ian Duncan notes that ducks are “inquisitive, social animals, and, in the wild … spend much of their time exploring their environment … these birds are also strongly motivated to perform water-related activities, such as bathing and swimming.” Dr. Duncan concludes that “individual cages … prevent the birds from carrying out natural behavior that is essential for their physical and psychological health.”
PETA’s investigator also documented that some ducks’ bills become cracked and bloody. As Dr. Pilny notes, “any open wound on a duck that bleeds is painful” and “causes suffering.”
Of course, the foie gras industry’s standard, cruel force-feeding of ducks (and geese) is just as despicable as is Palmex’s grim caging of ducks at the end of their miserable lives.
Pipes are shoved down the birds’ throats, and up to 4 pounds of grain and fat are pumped into their stomachs two or three times a day. The birds’ livers become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Some ducks’ organs burst.
Ducks can choke to death after workers ram the metal tubes down their throats. A PETA investigation of another foie gras producer revealed that a duck’s maggot-filled neck wound was so severe that water spilled out of it when he tried to drink.
Foie gras production is so cruel that at least 15 countries have banned it, including Australia, Germany, Israel, and the U.K. It has been denounced by many grocers, including Giant Eagle, Harris Teeter, Target, and Whole Foods.
But Hot’s and various stores continue to sell birds’ fatty, diseased livers. We need your help now to end this cruelty.
Please take a moment to request that the businesses selling Rougié foie gras—supplied by Palmex and others—do the right thing and ditch this disgusting, vile product.