Foie Gras:
Decades of cruelty exposed

Foie gras, or fattened liver, is made by force feeding ducks until their livers are 12-14 times their normal size.

The Animal Protection and Rescue League was instrumental in shutting down California's only foie gras producer and banning the sale of this cruel product in the state no matter where it is produced. Our undercover investigations have been featured in the New York Times.

Browse the links above for useful information on opposing and exposing this cruel dish.


Foie gras - French for "fatty liver" - is the diseased and enlarged liver of a duck or goose, produced through force feeding.

California Ban

California banned the “force feed[ing of] a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird's liver beyond normal size."

industry lies

Claims made by Hudson Valley Foie Gras to constitute false advertising. The few other farms that produce foie gras are no better.

The facts

What is Foie Gras?

Foie gras - French for "fatty liver" - is the diseased and enlarged liver of a duck or goose, produced through force feeding. A duck's liver naturally weighs around 50 grams. However, to qualify as foie gras, the industry's own regulations require ducks' livers to weigh an absolute minimum of 300 grams.

According to the ASPCA, "The birds' livers become so enlarged…that according to documentation by veterinarians, the animals must experience unspeakable pain and suffering. Birds have literally exploded from these forced feedings. The results of necropsies on dead birds that have been force-fed reveal ruptured livers, throat damage, esophageal trauma, and food spilling from the dead animals' throats and out of their nostrils."

On the left: a foie gras liver. On the right: a normal liver.

(Photo courtesy PETA)

A Look Inside Foie Gras Farms

The Animal Protection & Rescue League has investigated all three US foie gras farms and several in France and found rampant cruelty to be the norm.

Compassion Over Killing sent an investigator to the largest US farm, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, on a guided tour with a hidden camera and also witnessed the standard cruelty that is required for foie gras production.



New York City Takes a Gander at Banning Foie Gras

Farmers and animal-rights supporters square off on bill punishing violators with a fine of up to $1,000.

California’s foie gras ban will go back into effect

Law had been on hold while the issue was winding its way through the courts.

A demand for haute cusine is no excuse to condone animal cruelty

Sonoma Foie Gras made claims to the media that the ducks are "not force fed" and that they are "free range."

What the Experts Say

"The only recommendation the Committee can properly make is that force-feeding of ducks and geese should stop and this could be best achieved by the prohibition of the production, importation, distribution and sale of foie gras."

- Dr. D.J. Alexander
European Union Expert Committee

"The liver steatosis caused by 'gavage' is a pathological process that shows itself first by a fatty degeneration of the hepatic cells and then by necrosis. The fatty liver cannot be seen as normal. It is a categorical sign of a state of illness with clinical symptoms."

Dr. Marianne Heimann
Veterinary Pathologist

“The production of fatty liver for foie gras… raises serious animal welfare issues and it is not a practice that is condoned by FAO.”

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


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