All Talk, No Quack: Vet Association Won’t Stand Against Foie Gras

Posted by By Kelly Murray, ALDF Law Clerk on June 13, 2014

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Force-feeding young ducks and geese to produce fatty livers known as “foie gras,” is inhumane, and that is why ALDF has launched multiple attacks against this cruel industry. It is a tough argument to say that force-feeding ducks to produce foie gras does not cause animal suffering. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is suggesting by not taking a stance against foie gras production.

In 2010, the AVMA amended its Veterinarian’s Oath to emphasize the association’s commitment to animal welfare. The revised oath reads:

“I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering…”

According to former AVMA Executive Board Chair, Dr. John R. Brooks, AVMA’s board was sending a message by adopting the new oath – “The message is we as the AVMA and veterinarians in general do recognize that protecting animal well-being is what we’re all about.”

Based on the oath, you would expect the AVMA to take a strong position against the production and sale of foie gras—but you would be wrong. In fact, the AVMA has refused to adopt a policy on this cruel and unnecessary practice. On May 7, 2014, the AVMA released a report entitled, “Literature Review on the Welfare Implications of Foie Production,” in which the association even admits, “Capture and restraint are stressful to the ducks and rapid insertion of the feeding tube provide opportunities for injury and therefore pain.” It further goes on to list the known risks of foie gras production, including the “creation of a vulnerable animal more likely to sufferfrom otherwise tolerable conditions….”

Despite the AVMA’s own admission that ducks used in foie gras production are stressed, have increased opportunities for pain, and are more likely to suffer than other ducks, and despite animal organizations like ALDF leading the fight against the foie gras industry, the AVMA refuses to take a stance or implement a policy on foie gras.

Rather than strive to prevent the suffering and relief of ducks used in foie gras production, as their oath requires, the AVMA has turned a blind eye to the plight of these animals. Until the AVMA recognizes its self-prescribed duty, it will have a tough time convincing anyone that protecting animal well-being really is its top priority.

To read more about ALDF’s landmark victory against the foie gras industry and our lawsuits against producers and restaurants who violate California’s ban on foie gras, visit ALDF.org/foiegras.


16 thoughts on “All Talk, No Quack: Vet Association Won’t Stand Against Foie Gras

  1. Marta Esposito says:

    Force feeding any animal is abuse – hope it gets stopped!

  2. Pamela Cornish says:

    It is very hard to think that humanity is good when humanity thinks that causing animals to suffer is ok!! I guess that it is a good thing for people who think that this is ok aren’t geese or they would have to suffer at the hands of people who are just like themselves!!

  3. Michelle Hughes says:

    HOW can you NOT think that FORCE FEEDING ANY animal isn’t cruel? That makes absolutely NO sense to me!!!!

  4. corrina faulkner says:

    How can force feeding not be cruel? Anybody knows how uncomfortable it can be after a big meal but these geese are force fed pounds of grain with metal funnels rammed down their throats. Why not try this on a human, preferably someone who does this to these poor creatures,and then ASK them how it was. This is nothing more than animal abuse!!!

  5. Susan Martin says:

    I have NEVER liked what we do to animals that we use for food…killing them to eat is one thing but the way we treat baby calves for veal is horrific…the way we force feed ducks and geese to get Foie Gras is horrific….I would like to tie down one of those monsters and shove a feeding tube down their throats and shove food down their gullet…just so they could feel what it is like. I bet they would stop immediately. Keeping a baby calf in a dark crate that limits movement so they don’t build muscle and they are kept anemic so they have pale meat…Human beings are monsters when it comes to how we treat our food animals. Just

    1. Garr Sanders says:

      You are so very right.

  6. Force feeding any human or animal is abusive and cruel. Please stop turning your heads and choosing to ignore this truth. Stand up for what is right against animal abuse and cruel behavior towards them. Do not allow our country to be like third world ignorant people and countries. Thank you for your time and attention.

  7. Lauren Barrows says:

    When I see this type of abuse tolerated at the expense of our animals, I’m ashamed to be part of the human race. Disgusting. It speaks volumes about a society on how it treats its animals.

  8. Alice Kent says:

    These shameful and abusive acts against animals make my stomach turn! They have no voice, so please listen to mine. Stop the inhumane practice of making Fois Gras. This product should be banned!!!!

  9. Lisa says:

    It is truly sad that people think that this is ok, just because they WANT or feel they have a RIGHT to just “eat whatever they want!” Shows how we have NOT evolved and are STILL immature like infants!

  10. We MUST STOP this horrible practice

  11. Tatiana Chernenko says:

    Disgusting attitude.Animals are not for food & must be loved & protected.

  12. Mary Lowry says:

    shameful that the AVMA won’t take a stand.

  13. Jill Callahan says:

    This is unbelievable! This practice is not only extremely inhumane but cruelty at its worst! This must STOP, People should ban this use!

  14. Lorraine says:

    So cruel and unnecessary , ban it. Please

  15. Gerri Cassidy says:

    my only consolation is that the food industry will soon be making all of our food out of chemicals, so the ducks will be spared!