An undercover investigation found MHP farm, a leading foie gras producer, using engine oil to grease pipes shoved down geese throats, according to Independent.
Foie gras is a luxury food made of the liver of either a duck or a goose that has been fattened by force-feeding corn with a feeding tube, a process known as “gavage.”
According to undercover investigation by animal welfare group Open Cages, a farm in Ukraine has been using engine oil to grease feeding tubes before forcibly shoving down geese throats.
The geese were also seen being violently thrown into cages, which injures them. Some injured and dead birds were also left to suffer and rot in piles instead of getting medical attention.
The undercover investigator told Independent that the geese were clearly suffering after being force-fed and tossed aside, with some vomiting and panting.
“What I saw cannot be compared with what I originally expected to see. I worked there for about a month so as not to cause suspicion by leaving after the first day, but it was very difficult for me,” he said.
“They bring birds for breeding in a truck. In each section there should be 12 birds but in fact there are about 40, therefore they are already in terrible stress and aggressive to each other.”
“I saw a lot of cases where birds were trying to get out of the cage but were clinging to the pintle [hinge bolt] and immediately died directly on them or from wounds.”
MHP, Ukraine’s largest poultry producer, keeps around 20,000 birds in its industrial-style foie gras unit. It was able to sell 50,000 tons of foie gras last year, which were mostly exported.
“The practices documented here have been seen time and time again on foie gras farms, meaning that any foie gras sold in stores in the UK came from farms with similar levels of animal cruelty,” said Open Cages UK Representative Connor Jackson.
“By allowing the sale of foie gras on our shores we are putting money in the pockets of this disgraceful industry.”
“While imported foie gras remains on the menu, these poor animals’ cries will haunt us for years to come.”
In response, a spokesperson for MHP said in a statement: “We take our responsibilities to the animals we rear very seriously.”
“MHP’s policy on the humane treatment of animals has been created in line with global best practice and covers the process from production to shipment with an in-built cycle of continuous review and improvement.”
“As a certified exporter to the EU our facilities are regularly audited by the relevant authorities.”
“If our high standards have not been met, we will take immediate action to correct this. We will not compromise on animal welfare,” the spokesperson concluded.