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For Immediate Release: September 20, 2004
For more information contact: lauren Ornelas 530/759-8482

Students Urge Governor to Sign Force Feeding Ban

Sacred Heart Prep School pupils ask Schwarzenegger to show compassion for ducks

Atherton, CA…Students from Sacred Heart Prep School are collecting signatures on petitions urging Governor Schwarzenegger to sign SB 1520, which would ban the practice of force feeding of ducks and geese in order to cause their livers to enlarge. Enlarged duck and goose livers are used to make foie gras. The students cut out a large duck and signed their names on it to show the Governor that Californians care deeply about ending this controversial farming practice.

“It is exciting to see students who care enough about an issue to get involved in the political process before they can even vote,” said lauren Ornelas, US Campaigns Director for Viva!USA, one of the bill’s four sponsors.

SB1520, introduced by Senator John Burton, has already passed the Senate and the Assembly. To become law, it must have the governor’s signature.

According to their teacher, Jeff Mezzocchi, "As educators, we do a lot to educate the head, but we do very little to educate the heart. My students are often moved to act for justice for all creatures, human and non-human, who continue to suffer as a result of the structures of our world. By signing SB1520 into law, Governor Schwarzenegger will show our youth that there is room for the heart in politics and that we will not allow any more suffering to continue."

If SB1520 becomes law, California will join England, Germany, Israel, and a number of other countries that have already banned this practice because of animal welfare concerns. Many birds force fed to make foie gras can barely stand or walk. Some die when their stomachs rupture.

SB1520 is being sponsored by the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR), Farm Sanctuary, Los Angeles Lawyers for Animals and Viva!USA.