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

Stop Foie Gras Production

Schwarzenegger Signs 'Foie Gras' Bill

Associated  Press Writer
September 30, 2004, 12:22 AM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California will end the force feeding of ducks, geese  and other birds to produce the gourmet liver product foie gras by 2012 under   legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger.

The bill will also ban the sale of foie gras in California starting that  same year if it's obtained by force feeding birds.

Schwarzenegger, who received pleas from several celebrities, including  former Beatle Paul McCartney, to sign the bill, said it gives producers more  than seven years to "evolve and perfect a humane way for a duck to consume grain   to increase the size of its liver through natural processes."

"If agricultural producers are successful in this endeavor, the ban on foie gras sales and production in California will not occur," he said in a statement.

Animal rights advocates called the governor's action "a major victory for   the ducks and geese."

The state's lone farm engaged in the practice, Sonoma Foie Gras, also  hailed it as a victory.

The company's president, Guillermo Gonzales, said his farm would use the   time before the ban is implemented "to demonstrate that foie gras production is safe and proper."

Advocates for the bill said the restrictions are needed to stop an agricultural process in which birds are fed huge amounts of food three times a  day

through a tube inserted into their throats. The practice enlarges the birds' livers up to 10 times their normal size before they are slaughtered.

Foie gras -- French for "fat liver" -- is served in about 300 restaurants  in California, according to the California Restaurant Association, which opposed the bill along with several major farm groups.

The bill's author, Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, D-San Francisco, said several countries have already banned the force feeding practice and the   European Union is phasing it out.

Among other celebrities who supported the bill were actors Martin Sheen,  Kim Basinger, Alicia Silverstone and Mary Tyler Moore.

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