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Entries in Animals (2)

Friday
Jun292012

California Bidding Au Revoir to Foie Gras

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The French delicacy known as foie gras will disappear off California menus and plates Sunday.  Restaurants caught serving the buttery treat can be fined up to $1,000.

Made from the fattened livers of ducks and geese, foie gras is primarily produced in France.  The birds are force-fed corn through a process called gavage and then slaughtered for their organs.

Chef Wolfgang Puck sent a letter to 5,000 California restaurants in May to show his support for the law, the only state to do so.  The city of Chicago banned foie gras in 2006, only to reverse the decision two years later.

“Cramming pipes down ducks’ throats is both physically painful and psychologically terrifying for these poor ducks,” Bruce Friedrich, Farm Sanctuary senior director, said on the ASPCA website.

Chefs and foie lovers have been bulking up on the delicacy before the looming end date, buying large quantities of the product as well as hosting dinners based on the treat.

The industry had almost eight years to work on keeping its foie.  Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill in 2004 that granted farmers a grace period to find alternative ways to produce it.

With no other humane methods found, the ban stands to begin Sunday.  Most of the small farms and shops that the ban affects have already moved out of the state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb172012

United Airlines Policy Change Could Cost Pet Owners Thousands

Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On March 3, United Airlines and its subsidiaries will change the way they transport pets. And although the airline’s fees for transporting animals are in line with what other carriers charge, the change could end up costing pet owners thousands of dollars.

The change in policy means pets will now be transported as cargo rather than checked luggage. In certain countries, like Japan, it is required by law to pay a third party to ship cargo.  And that’s where the real cost lies: While the one-way fee for transporting your pet on United from Japan to the United States is about $300 for a 10- to 50-pound pet, per United’s website, the additional fee means the consumer will pay an additional $1,440 to  $3,869, according to Stars and Stripes, the newspaper of the U.S. military.

The additional shipping cost has the greatest impact on military pet owners who live overseas. United is a federal contract carrier.

United fees are based on the size of the pet and the destination, as are the third-party costs. United told ABC News it does not collect any additional money from the third party.

Shipping pets as cargo rather than checked luggage will lead to a better experience for pets, company spokeswoman Mary Ryan said, adding that pets will now have a dedicated staff and temperature-controlled vans instead of the inhospitable baggage compartment. The change is an adoption of an existing Continental Airlines program called PetSafe. United and Continental merged into one airline,  United, in October 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio