Tag Archives: Mercy for Animals

Tell Amazon to Stop Selling Foie Gras

Foie Gras - photo courtesy of sg.lifestyleasia.com

Ever wondered how foie gras is made?

Last month, a Mercy For Animals investigation uncovered stark evidence that what’s involved in the making of foie gras is nothing short of animal torture. A company in New York  that produces the dish, billing itself  as “the humane choice for purchasing foie gras,” was the subject of a secretly taped video by the animal advocacy group that showed ducks being abused. In light of the discovery, a website called AmazonCruelty.com has posted a petition asking Amazon.com to stop selling the dish.

According to Our-Compass.org, Dr. Greg Burkett, DVM, an avian specialist, saw the video and stated:

“If one looks at the production of foie gras for what it really is—causing a healthy [duck] liver to become diseased by forced overfeeding—then eating it could leave a whole different taste in your mouth.”

Other bird experts weighed in as well after watching the footage. Dr. Nedim Buyukmihci, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, said:

“This overfeeding will lead to liver enlargement and malfunction, causing chronic metabolic dysfunction and illness. The ducks at this facility, therefore, are being subjected to extremely inhumane conditions causing them to suffer greatly.”

Photo courtesy of thefabweb.comMercy For Animals notes on its AmazonCruelty.com website that, due to the distress caused to the birds, the practice has been outlawed in California and more than a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Israel. Our-Compass.org says that leading chefs, restaurants, and grocery retailers, including Costco, Safeway, Wolfgang Puck, Giant Eagle, and Target, refuse to sell foie gras due to its inherent cruelty.
To tell Amazon.com that it’s time to follow the lead of other retailers who refuse to sell foie gras, go to AmazonCruelty.com.

Advertisements

Male chicks ground up alive at egg hatcheries

This is probably old news to many of you, but I thought it important to reiterate the cruelty of the factory processing of chickens.  The video below is the behind the scenes footage captured by Hyline and makes for quite distressing viewing.

A U.S. animal rights group is calling on the nation’s largest grocery story chains to post warnings on egg cartons that unwanted male chicks are ground up alive, after videotaping the common industry practice at an Iowa egg hatchery.

In letters sent to the companies this week, Chicago-based Mercy for Animals says its undercover videotape at Hy-Line North America‘s hatchery in Spencer, Iowa, “exposes one of the industry’s best-kept secrets — that the egg industry tears male chicks’ bodies apart in grinding machines while they are still alive.”

The group wants the chains to include a label on egg cartons that says, “Warning: Male chicks are ground up alive by the egg industry.” The letters were sent to 50 chains, including Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Safeway, Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s.

“The violence that you will see is standard and acceptable within the egg industry, and consumers have a right to know about this cruelty so that they can make informed and compassionate purchasing decisions,” wrote Mercy for Animals’ executive director, Nathan Runkle.

A spokesman for United Egg Producers, a trade group for U.S. egg farmers, called the proposal “almost a joke.” Spokesman Mitch Head said Mercy for Animals had no credible authority, as well as questionable motives. “This is a group which espouses no egg consumption by anyone — so that is clearly their motive.” The video does in fact end with a call for people to adopt a vegan diet, which eliminates all animal products — meat, eggs or dairy.

Hy-Line said in a statement it has started an investigation “of the entire situation,” adding that it would have helped their investigation “had we been aware of the potential violation immediately after it occurred.”

The video, shot with a hidden camera and microphone by a Mercy for Animals employee who got a job at the plant in May and June, shows a Hy-Line worker sorting through a conveyor belt of chirping chicks, flipping some of them into a chute like a poker dealer flips cards.

These chicks, which a narrator says are males, are then shown being dropped alive into a grinding machine.

In other parts of the video, a chick is shown dying on the factory floor amid a heap of eggshells after falling through a sorting machine. Another chick, also still alive, is seen lying on the floor after getting scalded by a wash cycle, according to the video narrator.

Hy-Line said the video “appears to show an inappropriate action and violation of our animal welfare policies,” referring to chicks on the factory floor.

Euthanasia of male chicks routine for industry

But the company also noted that “instantaneous euthanasia” — a reference to killing of male chicks by the grinder — is a standard practice supported by the animal veterinary and scientific community.

According to Mercy for Animals, male chicks are of no use to the industry because they can’t lay eggs and don’t grow large or quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat. That results in the killing of 200 million male chicks a year.

The United Egg Producers confirmed that figure and the practice behind it.

“There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens,” said spokesman Head. “If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we’re happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need.”

Using a grinder, Head said, “is the most instantaneous way to euthanize chicks.”

There is no federal law that ensures the humane euthanasia of animals on farms or hatcheries, according to Jonathan Lovvorn, vice-president and chief counsel of the Humane Society of the United States.

Hy-Line says on its website that its Iowa facility produces 33.4 million chicks. Based on that figure, Mercy for Animals estimates a similar number of male chicks are killed at the facility each year. Hy-Line did not comment on that estimate.

Runkle, of Mercy for Animals, said most people would be shocked to learn that 200 million chicks are killed a year.

“Is this justifiable just for cheap eggs?” he said.

As to more humane alternatives to disposing of male chicks, Runkle said the whole system is inherently flawed.

“The entire industrial hatchery system subjects these birds to stress, fear and pain from the first day,” he said.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,545540,00.html