From: Anyuska <email@example.com>
Date: 04-oct-2007 23:59
Subject: CAMARA OCULTA-- FOIE GRAS HIDDEN CAMERA-Video shows ducks being beaten, tortured
De: Isabelmadrid [mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Enviado el: jueves, 04 de octubre de 2007 23:38
Asunto: CAMARA OCULTA-- FOIE GRAS HIDDEN CAMERA-Video shows ducks being beaten, tortured
Asunto: FOIE GRAS HIDDEN CAMERA-Video shows ducks being beaten, tortured
Tuesday » October 2 » 2007
Video shows ducks being beaten, tortured
Hidden camera. Not representative of his operation, farm owner says
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
CREDIT: MARCOS TOWNSEND, THE GAZETTE
"We used to serve it, but now it's too controversial," says Philip Demers, owner of Saloon restaurant on Ste. Catherine St. E.
Canada's second-largest foie gras producer insists the 80,000 to 100,000 ducks he raises each year to make the delicacy are not abused, despite a damning new video made by an animal rights advocate posing as an employee.
"I find those images offensive," Élisé François, president of Aux Champs d'Élisé, said yesterday about the video showing ducks on his farm being beaten and tortured. Aux Champs d'Élisé is based in Marieville, 45 kilometres east of Montreal.
It is the second time in three months that the foie gras industry has come under fire for allegedly illegal practices. In July, the country's largest producer, Les Élevages Périgord in St. Louis de Gonzague, was the focus of a video that showed ducks being whacked and suffocated.
A provincial police investigation into Les Élevages Périgord, located 40 kilometres southwest of Montreal, ended in July with no charges being laid.
The latest video is repugnant, François said, but is not representative of his operation.
"I have always treated animals with respect," the 63-year-old lifelong farmer said, adding that two employees shown in the video no longer work for him.
"A quality product requires a healthy animal."
Recorded between June 29 and July 5 by a volunteer with the Montreal-based Global Action Network, an animal rights group, the video shows a 14-year-old boy slicing a duck's neck with a knife nine times, the bird's wings still flapping more than a minute later.
François said the youth, who worked at the farm for two months as a summer job, was incited by the undercover activist, who had a hidden camera.
"He kept telling him, 'How do you kill a duck? Show me how you kill a duck?' " François said.
Global Action Network showed the video to the Sûreté du Québec, which launched an investigation.
The group also alerted Youth Protection officials regarding the boy. "This is a young individual and it's clear his moral development was being impeded," Network director Andrew Plumbly said.
The video also shows a 55-year-old employee holding a duck by the neck and swinging the bird violently to kill it.
That man, a five-year veteran with the company, was suspended Wednesday pending the outcome of the SQ's investigation, François said.
The footage shows ducks with infected bills and bloody vomit on their throats, but François said the birds are force-fed according to a strict protocol and all employees are trained to follow it. "We force-feed them twice a day for no more than six seconds," he said, noting it is a time-honoured tradition used to fatten the birds' livers.
Rebecca Aldworth, a Global Action Network director, said the latest video proves there is rampant cruelty in Quebec's foie gras industry, which supplies most of Canada and much of the United States.
Global Action Network wants federal officials to ban the production of foie gras. Fourteen other nations have already done so, she said.
A quick check with two city restaurants showed they reflect a shifting appetite for the dish.
"We used to serve it, but now it's too controversial," said Philip Demers, owner of Saloon restaurant on Ste. Catherine St. E. "People just don't agree about whether it's cruel."
But Stéphanie Maltor, 28, a waitress at La Loïe, a restaurant on René Lévesque Blvd. E., said foie gras is still on the menu, served in lasagna. "As long as it's done humanely, I don't see the problem," said Maltor, a native of the Périgord region of France.
On the Web: The latest video can be viewed at http://gan.ca
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007
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