Ministry fights court on force-feeding geese

Agriculture Ministry argues that process for producing delicacy infringes upon animal rights; one case to reach High Court.

A gaggle of geese 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
A gaggle of geese 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Agriculture Ministry expressed an intention on Thursday to fight against the force-feeding of geese.
The practice was banned seven years ago but the ministry fears it will be revived.
Although the ministry had discontinued the practice in 2006, the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court recently accepted a formerly convicted force-feeder’s appeal and determined that his methods did not violate the Animal Welfare Law, the ministry said. Agriculture Ministry officials said that despite the judgment of the court, the process does in fact infringe upon animal rights.
The story began in 2007, when charges were brought against a defendant for mistreatment of animals due to his practice of force-feeding geese, according to the ministry.
In response, the defendant argued that his method of force-feeding used an innovative feeding tube, and reduced the suffering of the geese significantly – thereby not constituting animal abuse.
In 2010, the court convicted the defendant, ruling that there is little difference between force-feeding by hand or by tube, the ministry explained. The practice of force feeding geese is used in the production of foie gras.
However, the defendant recently filed an appeal of his conviction, which the court accepted, as there was no scientific manner to prove the suffering of the geese.
Agriculture Ministry attorneys have now vowed to take the matter to the High Court of Justice, the ministry said.