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May 6, 2010

The HSUS Wins Water Pollution Case Against Hudson Valley Foie Gras

A federal court in Manhattan has ruled in favor of The Humane Society of the United States in its federal lawsuit charging the nation's largest foie gras factory farm with numerous violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Judge Harold Baer, Jr. granted in part HSUS' motion for summary judgment, and issued extensive injunctive relief against Hudson Valley Foie Gras.

"This facility has flouted federal pollution laws for years, and we are delighted to see justice done for the environment, animals and local residents who have all suffered at the hands of this factory farm," said Jonathan R. Lovvorn, vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS.

In its ruling, the court issued an injunction against further Clean Water Act violations by HVFG, ordered HVFG to hire an expert and take remedial action, provided that HVFG will be fined $25,000 per day per violation for further violations, and ordered HVFG to pay $50,000 for an environmental project in lieu of paying civil penalties.

Hudson Valley Foie Gras raises and slaughters ducks to produce the controversial French "delicacy" foie gras. Birds are force-fed an unnatural amount of food through a pipe thrust down their throats until their livers expand to ten or more times their natural size. This process not only results in extreme suffering for the birds, it also produces a significant amount of waste, including manure and slaughter waste. The case alleges that some of this waste has been discharged into the Middle Mongaup River.

The HSUS was represented in the case by Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York, Egert and Trakinski, New York, and lawyers with The HSUS' animal protection litigation section.

For more information, visit The HSUS' website on foie gras production.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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