UPC and Other Groups Urge Signing of SB 1520

Yesterday, I noted that Friends of Animals sent out a press release opposing California SB 1520 which would outlaw force feeding of birds for the production of foie gras in 2012. Shortly after the Friends of Animals press release, United Poultry Concerns issued a press release urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign the bill and slamming groups opposed to the bill.

The UPC press release said it was joined in support of the bill by the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, VivaUSA, Farm Sanctuary, In Defense of Animals, GourmetCruelty.com, and the Animal Protection and Rescue League.

According to UPC,

The bill if enacted will abolish a farmed animal abuse. The fact that
there will be a phase-in period is not a reason to oppose this bill. We have
applauded the banning of battery-hen cages in the European Union and in
Austria, and the banning of sow gestation crates in Florida, but all of this
important legislation for farmed animals includes phase-in periods. No one
who supports farmed animal protective legislation wants to wait for the law
to take effect, but that is now how the legislative process works. Yes, the
foie gras industry is going to use the time to try to overturn the law and
do other nefarious things, but this means that our public education work is
cut out for us. Given the facts of foie gras production and the videotaping
of the procedure that we have (Delicacy of Despair), it seems unlikely that
the public is going to be persuaded to abandon the ducks and oppose a ban on
foie gras production and sale in California.

. . .

Those groups who actively oppose SB 1520 could lobby at state and federal
levels to try to enact legislation that would ban foie gras production/sale
immediately, but they are not doing so. Instead, they are obstructing the
passage of this bill while offering no real alternative, just bashing the
bill and the groups that have worked so hard to get the bill introduced and
to retain as much of the original intent of the bill as possible.

United Poultry Concerns urges activists to support SB 1520 and to refuse to
reject this opportunity in pursuit of a purist fantasy. The objections being
raised against SB 1520 are unrealistic given the realities of the
legislative process and the enormous obstacles that farmed animals have
traditionally faced legislatively. Sabotaging this bill is going to hurt the
ducks, not help them.

The foie gras ban is one of about 1,000 bills that Schwarzenegger must either sign or veto by then end of September. Schwarzenegger has previously called the bill “silly” and pointed to it as an example of why California needs a part-time legislature.


Why UPC Supports SB 1520 and Urges Everyone Else to Support the Bill. Press Release, United Poultry Concerns, August 31, 2004.

Activists Take Journalist Along on Duck-Stealing Mission

Four animal rights activists with a group calling itself the Animal Protection and Rescue League took along a reporter for the Los Angeles Times during a September raid in which the activists stole four ducks from a duck shed owned by Sonoma Foie Gras.

Activists Bryan Pease, Kath Rodgers, Carla Brauer and a fourth individual who asked the LA Times reporter not to identify him, broke into the shed and took four Peking-Muscovy ducks. The activists told LA Times reporter Marcelo Rodriguez that they had carried out similar operations in the past as part of what they called “the underground railroad for ducks.”

The group apparently decided to ask a reporter to tag along after the media had largely ignored a video of the sheds the group had produced earlier in the year that was then released to the media by a group called Gourmet Cruelty (it did not help that local authorities concluded that animals in the sheds were being properly cared for).

Sonoma Foie Gras owner Guillermo Gonzalez, who has been the subject of relentless harassment by animal rights activists, aid that he would pursue legal action against the activists if they did, in fact, steal animals from his property. Gonzalez told the Times,

Unfortunately, some activists hold animals in higher esteem than they do humans. Our animals are treated humanely, and anybody who enters our farm can see that.


Activists Take Ducks From Foie Gras Shed. Marcelo Rodriguez, The Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2003.