Animal Defenders of Westchester

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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

Press Release



Kiley Blackman  
[email protected]   

June 15, 2006  Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D Scarsdale) joins Animal Defenders of Westchester in calling upon Governor Pataki to withdraw a $420,000 taxpayer-funded grant by the Economic Development Agency. This grant was given to  Hudson Valley Foie Gras, a notoriously cruel company that force feeds ducks to expand their livers to 10 times their normal size. This can cause painful bruising, lacerations, sores, and organ rupture. The birds' livers become diseased and can enlarge more than ten times the normal size, making it difficult for the birds to move comfortably. Video shows birds dragging themselves by their wings to get around, and one bird, too sick to move, being eaten alive by rats .

The ASPCA, which has police power in NYS to enforce the animal cruelty laws, has denounced Hudson Valley's cruel practices. Unfortunately, Sullivan County law enforcement refuses to prosecute, possibly not wanting to provoke the farm lobby.

Furthermore, according to the North Country Gazette, an animal protection group has filed a Notice of Intent to sue Hudson Valley Foie Gras for its over 900 Violations Of Clear Water Act, including illegal discharges of chlorine, fecal coliform, and ammonia into the Middle Mongaup River.

The European Union, California and Chicago recently banned its sale. Trader Joe's graciously discontinued this item when we showed them two precious little babies whose beaks had been cut by this farm, stopping their ability to eat normally. This is done so that ducks in such filthy, crowded facilities don't bite each other in frustration. These babies will have to be hand-fed for the rest of their lives. In 2005, Assemblyman Jack McEneny (D-Albany) introduced a bill that would ban the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese in New York.

It is outrageous that the State is using our tax monies to fund a facility that not only cruelly force-feeds animals, but also flouts federal and state environmental laws. In addition, foie gras is, by all accounts a 'luxury', high-priced item that can, and is easily, done without by the majority of the public. Surely our tax dollars can be better spent on issues of real importance to NYS.

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin agrees: "New York State development grant money is intended to support small businesses that promote the ideals of the State and the needs of its people.  I am a cosponsor of a New York State Assembly bill (A6212a) that would make it unlawful to force feed birds for the purpose of enlarging their livers, said Assemblywoman Paulin, I do not support this state grant that encourages animal cruelty.

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