AVMA Rejects Resolution to Oppose Force Feeding Ducks and Geese for Foie Gras, a Diseased Liver Product


“Activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and United Poultry Concerns condemn foie gras production methods for inducing ‘fatty liver’ disease in the birds.” Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 15, 2005

“In addition to the numerous documented injuries that can occur from the force feeding process, the birds develop fatty liver disease and hepatic encephalopathy – nervous system derangement due to liver failure.”Holly Cheever, DVM, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, July 18, 2005

At its annual meeting on July 15-16, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) defeated two resolutions to oppose the force feeding of ducks and geese to produce foie gras. Foie gras is produced by feeding these birds huge quantities of corn meal mush, oil, and salt two or three times a day by forcing a metal or plastic pipe into their esophagus for up to a month before slaughtering them.

The resolutions were defeated by the AVMA’s House of Delegates because the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the American Association of Avian Pathologists, and the New York State Veterinary Medical Association opposed the resolutions, claiming that recent AVMA visits to Hudson Valley foie gras facilities in upstate New York showed “proper care” of the birds. These visits were pre-arranged.

Siding with industry against science and conscience, AVMA president Bonnie Beaver compared forcing captive, sedentary ducks to develop fatty livers by ramming tubes down their throats to wild ducks preparing for migration by eating extra corn in cornfields to provide energy for their flights. Making this false comparison, Beaver told the Minneapolis Star Tribune,  “we don’t condemn foie gras.”

What Can I Do?
  • Don’t get discouraged; get active! Remember that for over a decade, until 2004, the AVMA unscientifically declared that force molting hens by depriving them of food was comparable to maternal brooding (a mother hen sitting on her eggs) and natural molting (whereby birds shed old feathers and grow new plumage for the winter months ahead). Pressure by animal rights activists and animal welfare scientists finally forced the AVMA to relinquish this untenable stand and oppose starvation-induced forced molting. Pressure is likewise needed to get the AVMA to oppose force-feeding ducks and geese to produce foie gras. Educate the public via letters to the editor and word of mouth, and protest to:

    Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver, President
    American Veterinary Medical Association
    1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100
    Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360
    Phone: 847-925-8070. Fax: 847-925-1329

  • For information visit www.NoFoieGras.org online, and order the powerful video Delicacy of Despair from United Poultry Concerns and show it to people. This 16- minute video takes you behind the closed doors of the foie gras industry and shows rescued ducks being rehabilitated. DVD $10 includes shipping. Watch on YouTube.