New Poll: Eighty-one percent of New York voters support legislation to prohibit the sale of force-fed foie gras

NEW YORK CITY — A new citywide poll supported by a coalition of 42 public-interest charities shows 81 percent of New York City voters support Intro 1378, a bill introduced by Council Member Carlina Rivera that would prohibit the sale of foie gras from force-fed ducks and geese.

The survey, conducted by Mason-Dixon, shows that 78% of Democrats, 83% of Republicans and 88% of independents support the sales prohibition.

“These polling results demonstrate that New Yorkers of all political persuasions oppose animal cruelty and overwhelmingly support a prohibition on the sale of foie gras which comes from tortured ducks and geese,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “I can think of nothing more common sense than ending the egregious practice of selling a luxury food item made from abused animals.”

“It’s no surprise that New Yorkers overwhelmingly support protecting ducks and geese from the abusive foie gras industry,” said Council Member Justin Brannan. “Force-feeding a bird for the sole purpose of making it sick to create some bizarre delicacy is gruesome and inhumane.”

These poll numbers confirm the public overwhelmingly supports laws that protect animals. Force-feeding birds until their liver is diseased and enlarged to 10 times its healthy size has no place in New York City.

Facts about foie gras
Foie Gras (pronounced ˈfwä-ˈgrä) — French for “fatty liver” — is a luxury food product made from the diseased and enlarged liver of a duck or goose and sold in about 1.5 percent of New York City restaurants. Foie gras is produced by force-feeding the animals until their liver grows up to 10 times its normal size before slaughter.

Force-feeding, which is the standard practice used for producing foie gras, involves violently shoving a metal or plastic foot-long pipe down a bird's throat, then pumping him with excessive feed. After three times a day for several weeks the animal’s liver swells up to 10 times its natural size and becomes diseased.

The welfare issues related to force-feeding are well-documented:

  • Force-feeding results in numerous illnesses and diseases, including hepatic lipidosis, bacterial and fungal infections, malnourishment and lameness. For these reasons, mortality rates for force-fed ducks are 10 to 20 times higher than those for non-force-fed ducks.

  • Force-feeding causes a number of injuries: bruising or perforation of the esophagus; hemorrhaging and inflammation of the neck resulting from the repeated insertion of the pipe to the throat; and asphyxia caused by food improperly forced into the trachea.

  • Like all animals, including humans, ducks and geese experience  pain, fear, as well as acute and chronic stress, from the multiple daily force-feedings.

Additional Resources: