Foie gras should be illegal

To the editor:

According to the ASPCA, during weeks of force-feeding ducks and geese to produce the gourmet delicacy foie gras (fatty livers), “the bird’s liver becomes so enlarged that, according to the documentation of veterinarians, the animals must experience unspeakable pain and suffering. The results of necropsies performed performed on dead birds that were force-fed show ruptured livers, throat damage, esophageal trauma, and food spilling from the birds’ throats and out their nostrils.”

Over the years, many people worldwide have unsuccessfully petitioned or otherwise urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to stop Sullivan County’s foie gras production.

Foie gras production is prohibited in most European nations, Argentina, Australia, Israel and California. The sale of foie gras is also banned in California. India, which has no foie gras farms, prohibits its import. By contrast, the silence on this issue by Cuomo, Schumer, Gillibrand and Attorney General Letitia James has been deafening. My own letters to them are unanswered. Why are they so indifferent to cruelty so awful that even Hitler prohibited it in Nazi Germany?

Bills in the New York Legislature that would ban foie gras production have received little support. However, in some countries, including Israel, foie gras production has been deemed illegal under general laws forbidding cruelty to animals. It can and should be banned in New York under existing animal protection laws — absent a specific law banning force-feeding of birds.

Joel Freedman