AR-News: Anti-cruelty lawsuit stays in Sonoma news at
Tue Mar 2 16:15:42 EST 2004

March 2, 2004


SONOMA, CA--A state court judge has just issued his ruling that the animal
cruelty lawsuit against Sonoma Foie Gras will not be sent to San Joaqin
County. The company--which has been exposed force feeding its ducks to the
point of organ rupture--had hoped to move the case to Farmington, where
the force feeding operation is located. A judge there might have been more
likely to tolerate such harsh treatment of animals than judges in Sonoma,
where the case will now be heard.

The lawsuit by the Animal Protection & Rescue League (APRL) and In Defense
of Animals (IDA) alleges that the force-feeding results in extreme,
unmitigated pain and suffering as well as crippling injuries to the ducks,
and that the owners of Sonoma Foie Gras are in violation of several
sections of the California penal code on animal welfare.

An APRL investigation of the farm last year revealed ducks too weak and
overweight to defend themselves as rats gnawed on their wounds, documented

"These people are cramming huge amounts of food down the throats of ducks
while there are children starving, simply so that diners can pay twenty
dollars per ounce for a densely fatty appetizer," states Kath Rogers, an
APRL spokesperson. "Their behavior is not only extremely cruel to animals,
but anti-social as well."

Attorneys for APRL point out that there was no sound legal basis for the
company thinking it could get the cased removed to San Joaqin County, just
as there is no legal basis for thinking that cramming pipes down a ducks
throats to bloat their livers is not in violation of anti-cruelty laws.

A powerful Sacramento lawmaker recently decided to take his own action
against the practice, by introducing bill SB 1520, which would ban the
production and sale of foie gras in the state of California. Over a dozen
other nations have already banned the controversial force feeding
practice, and a bill introduced in New York seeks to shut down the only
other foie gras farm in the U.S.

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