May 17, 2016
Goiania Becomes Brazil’s Second Capital City to Ban Foie Gras
Humane Society International applauds ban on the force feeding of animals
The city of Goiania, the capital of Goias state, has become Brazil’s second state capital to ban products made by force-feeding animals. This is the method used to produce foie gras, in which ducks are typically force fed to increase the size of their livers. Humane Society International applauds the ban.
Dr. Sandra Lopes, HSI’s food policy manager in Brazil, said: “Few people would want to eat any part of a diseased animal, but in the case of foie gras, consumers eat the diseased organ itself. Factory farms produce it by force feeding ducks so much that their livers become diseased and enlarged. This causes a tremendous amount of suffering. We congratulate the councilors and the mayor of Goiania for banning such abuse.”
- More than a dozen countries have prohibited foie gras production – including Germany, Israel and Poland. Last year, Sao Paulo, the capital of Sao Paulo state, was the first city in the country to approve a ban on sale and production of foie gras. Other cities – such as Sorocaba, Blumenau, Santa Bárbara D’Oeste and Aparecida – followed suit.
- Foie gras production usually involves forcing a metal pipe down the throats of ducks and geese to feed them unnatural quantities of grain. The process causes a pathology called liver steatosis or fatty degeneration—a condition characterized by the presence of abnormally large quantities of fat within cells. The size of the birds’ livers become six to 10 times larger than its normal size.
- Force-feeding can also cause breathing and walking difficulties, painful bruising, lacerations, sores or organ rupture. The birds can also suffer considerable fear and stress during repeated capture and handling. Some foie gras factory farms cram birds into small cages where they can’t turn around or spread their wings.