Poultry issues

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2005:

The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, on January 3, 2005
banned force-feeding ducks and geese to produce foie gras, effective
at the end of the month, one day after the Knesset Education
Committee refused a request from the Agriculture Ministry to delay
the ban until the end of March. Israel ranked fourth globally in
foie gras exports, the Israeli foie gras industry was worth $16.5
million per year, it employed 500 people, and it killed about
700,000 ducks and geese per year as of August 11, 2003. Then the
Israeli Supreme Court ruled that force-feeding ducks and geese
violated Israeli law, but allowed the industry an 18-month phase-out.

A California Court of Appeals panel in San Francisco on
January 11, 2005 upheld San Francisco Superior Court Judge David
Garcia’s March 2003 dismissal of a lawsuit filed by PETA in December
2002 against the California Milk Producers Advisory Board for alleged
false advertising. PETA argued that the slogan “Great cheese comes
from happy cows. Happy cows come from California” misrepresents the
reality of how dairy cattle are raised. Garcia ruled that the laws
against false advertising and unfair competition laws cited by PETA
exempt government agencies.

Ginny Conley, acting executive director of the West Virginia
Prosecuting Attorneys Institute, on January 10 told Vicki Smith of
Associated Press that 11 former workers at the Pilgrim’s Pride
poultry slaughterhouse in Moorefield, West Virginia will not be
prosecuted for allegedly kicking, stomping and slamming chickens
against a wall, as captured on video by a PETA undercover
investigator. Conley contended that the incidents “need to be
handled more on a regulatory end than prosecuting someone
criminally.” Pilgrim’s Pride, a major supplier to KFC, fired the
11 workers and provided remedial training to supervisors at all of
its 24 North American facilities.

McDonald’s Corporation, the world’s largest restaurant
chain, in late December 2004 disclosed in response to a proposed
PETA shareholders initiative that it is studying “controlled
atmosphere killing,” i.e. gassing poultry with nitrogen or argon,
as a possible less stressful alternative to conventional slaughter.

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