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Israel Supreme Court ban on foie gras production

· WSPA welcomes Israel Supreme Court ban on foie gras production
· Israel, the world’s fourth biggest supplier of foie gras, has banned the force-feeding of geese and ducks from 2005 as a result of a campaign led by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and its Israeli member society Anonymous for Animal Rights.
· In a landmark decision for animal welfare, at Israel’s Supreme Court, the judge ruled that the production of foie gras causes unacceptable suffering and is therefore in violation of the law, but deferred enforcement of the ruling until 2005 as an immediate ban would cause job losses in the recession-hit Israeli economy.
· WSPA’s Director of Farm Animal Welfare, John Callaghan said, “This is a great start. Israel is setting a huge precedent by phasing out foie gras production. However, as long as people continue to eat foie gras, the suffering will continue. We hope that other countries will follow the example set by Israel and make the force-feeding of animals illegal.” A hard-hitting campaign by animal welfare groups has been responsible for changing the Israeli public’s opinion to a point where foie gras is now perceived as a morally defective food. A recent survey stated that 69% of Israelis perceive force-feeding of geese and ducks as animal abuse.
· Foie gras involves force-feeding ducks or geese several times every day, greatly exceeding the quantity that the birds would normally eat. A metal tube is inserted into the birds’ throats through which food is compressed into their stomachs. The process causes the birds’ livers to enlarge by up to 10 times the normal size and often results in degenerative disease.
· Editors’ notes: Israel produces about 300 tonnes of foie gras a year. France is the main producer, followed by Hungary and Bulgaria.
· WSPA is recognised by the UN and works to raise the standards of animal welfare throughout the world. As the leading international federation of animal welfare organisations, WSPA’s campaigns and projects are developed in partnership with more than 440 member societies in over 100 countries. Through its campaigns, education, training and animal rescue initiatives, WSPA seeks to ensure that the principles of animal welfare are universally understood and respected, and protected by effectively enforced legislation.

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