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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Voters for animal rights organize

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Published in THE JOURNAL NEWS 9/8/06: 

(Original publication: September 8, 2006)

Westchester's animal rights advocates are launching a voters group that will push for countywide bans on rodeos, circuses and goose and duck liver paté.

The League of Humane Voters of Westchester will recruit voters who can persuade candidates and officials to support animal-friendly policies, said Kiley Blackman, the league's chairwoman.

Besides advocating for bans on gourmet liver spread such as foie gras, which involves force-feeding, the group wants the county to operate a pet neutering vehicle and to require fire sprinklers in all commercial animal housing.

The group will outline its legislative agenda at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Greenburgh Town Hall.

League members have already contacted the county legislature's committee on legislation, whose July agendas note letters on rodeos, animal acts, goose liver and mobile neutering.

Blackman and another group she heads, Animal Defenders of Westchester, have enjoyed some success in animal bans.

Greenburgh enacted a ban against circuses and rodeos in 2002. That same year Mount Vernon declined to let a rodeo return to Memorial Field after Blackman and her group asked the city to ban rodeos. Mount Vernon officials said they barred the rodeo because of damage to the park.

Their work comes at a time of increasing pressure on foie gras producers. Chicago recently enacted a ban on fattened goose and duck liver, on the grounds that it is an abusive practice. Similar efforts are afoot in New York.

In June, the Humane Society of the United States filed an action with the state Department of Agriculture and Markets to have foie gras declared an adulterated food product, which would ban its sale.

Two bills in the state Legislature would ban the force feeding of ducks and geese in New York.

Marcus Henley, manager of the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Farm in Ferndale, N.Y., said his product cannot be produced by letting the birds eat at will. He said the Chicago ban, which is being challenged, has boosted sales for his company, which is also being sued by the Humane Society.

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