Foie Gras Removed from Glamorous Maui Event After Cruelty Exposed in Legislative Hearing

Published: 04/20/2011
Publication: Sacramento Bee


Foie Gras Removed from Glamorous Maui Event After Cruelty Exposed in Legislative Hearing

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Four Seasons Resort in Maui has removed foie gras from its upcoming $350 per person Opus One Wine Dinner after being contacted by the Animal Protection & Rescue League (APRL). Foie gras is made by force feeding ducks to enlarge their livers up to 12 times normal size, a practice that has been banned in 15 countries.

The menu change comes on the heels of a state senate hearing on banning foie gras in Hawaii. After three hours of testimony, Sen. Clarence Nishihara, the agriculture committee chair, blocked having any vote on the proposed legislation, which was modeled after a California ban that takes effect next year and has been supported by five city councils. Sen. Nishihara also recently helped appropriate two million taxpayer dollars to bail out a slaughterhouse that dubiously labels pork "island processed" after shipping live pigs from the mainland in terrible conditions.

So far this year, over 30 restaurants and four major events nationwide have removed foie gras after being contacted by APRL. The largest of the three U.S. producers, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, has responded with claims that have been censured by the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau as false and misleading, as documented on

Hudson Valley also teamed up with reality show personality Anthony Bourdain to produce a misleading video of foie gras production. A short glimpse of force feeding is zoomed in to obscure the other ducks in the small pen struggling to escape. The video then shows ducks panting, which is a sign of distress, but deceptively adds quacking noises to make it appear as though they are happy. This breed of duck does not quack.

About 300 undocumented migrant workers live on site at Hudson Valley. Labor groups have repeatedly complained about the poor treatment of these illegal immigrants. The factory farm has also been fined for repeatedly polluting local waterways.

"Inside the three U.S. foie gras producers and the several in France we have investigated, I have witnessed the same thing: sick, dying and dead ducks," states attorney Bryan Pease, executive director of APRL.  "We will continue convincing more and more restaurants to remove this cruel item until these factory farms are shut down."

More information is available at

SOURCE Animal Protection & Rescue League

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