This week, Ukranian foie gras producer MHP announced it would cease operations and sell its foie gras farm. MHP’s move comes after an undercover investigation was released in April by animal-rights group Open Cages which documented horrific abuse at a foie gras producer in Ukraine—presumably MHP as it is the only such business in the country that keeps 20,000 birds on its farm. The investigation uncovered birds being violently thrown from trucks into cages, injured in various ways, and force-fed with a metal pole that workers lubricated with engine oil. The investigator witnessed approximately 20 birds per day dying due to stress and injuries from these abuses. “MHP’s decision to stop production of foie gras from force-fed birds underscores that animal cruelty has no place in a civilized society,” said Matthew Dominguez, political advisor for Voters for Animal Rights (VFAR), one of the organizations working to ban foie gras in the United States. “The production of foie gras is so cruel that it has been banned in more than a dozen countries and the state of California.”

In June, New York City Council heard VFAR-supported Intro 1378, a bill that proposes the ban on the sale of foie gras citywide. “[Foie gras is] produced through force-feeding [and] ducks suffer greatly from ruptured organs, esophagus trauma, broken bones, illnesses, and diseases as a result of having a foot-long metal feeding pipe violently shoved down their throats (three times a day) for the sole-purpose of swelling and diseasing their liver to ten times its normal, healthy size,” Dominguez said. “That is why 81 percent of New Yorkers, more than 50 not-for-profit charities, 50 New York-based veterinarians, and a majority of the NY City Council proudly support a prohibition on the sale of this disgusting and bizarre food item.”

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