Monthly Archives: May 2006

go chicago!

Chicago Won’t Swallow Foie Gras Cruelty
WASHINGTON (April 26, 2006)—Today, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale of foie gras. Foie gras is a “delicacy” made from the diseased, fattened liver created by force-feeding ducks or geese, one of the most inhumane factory farming practices. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) praised the City Council for passing the measure and urged the Illinois state legislature to pass a similar bill currently pending.
Alderman Joe Moore (D-49th Ward) authored and championed the animal welfare bill. In October 2005, it gained the unanimous support of the Chicago City Council Committee on Health before entering the Council for a vote.
According to Alderman Moore, “We in the Chicago City Council can do our part to discourage this barbaric agricultural practice by outlawing its sale within our city. The fewer restaurants that serve this product of animal torture, the fewer animals who will be subject to this unspeakable cruelty.”
By passing this landmark legislation, Chicago joins California and more than a dozen countries—including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland—in taking legislative action on the issue of foie gras and cruel force-feeding practices.
And in 2005, the Illinois State Senate unanimously passed similar legislation banning foie gras production—Senate Bill 413 authored by Senator Kathleen J. Wojcik (R-28th District). The bill is awaiting passage by the Illinois House of Representatives this year.
“The HSUS commends the Chicago City Council for passing this humane ordinance and halting the sale of one of the most cruel and indefensible factory-farmed products,” explained Michael Markarian, executive vice president of The HSUS. “Alderman Moore and Chicago lawmakers have taken the lead in ending the abuse of ducks and geese for a mere table treat.”
The HSUS actively supported the measure since its inception, mobilizing its Chicago-area members and taking out full-page ads in prominent newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and The Catholic New World.
The production of foie gras is one of the most notorious practices in modern agribusiness. To create the unnaturally fattened liver that defines the product, factory farm producers force-feed birds for two to four weeks, shoving a metal tube down their throats two or three times each day. This can cause painful bruising, lacerations, sores, and even organ rupture. Due to this abnormal diet, the birds’ livers become diseased and can enlarge up to ten times the normal size, making it difficult for the birds to move comfortably. Often, the birds are intensively confined in filthy warehouses, crammed in small cages where they cannot even turn around or spread their wings.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization with 9.5 million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research, equine protection and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy and field work. The non-profit organization is based in Washington and has field representatives and offices across the country. On the web at hsus.org