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Activists Hack Foie Gras Producer’s Website and Release Customer Details

Activists Hack Foie Gras Producer’s Website and Release Customer Details

Activists have taken a new approach to protest cruelty to ducks and geese by hacking the website of the nation’s largest foie gras producer – Hudson Valley Foie Gras (HVFG).

In a letter submitted to the North American Animal Liberation Press Office (NAALPO), the hackers wrote:

“For Earth Day we targeted Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the largest foie gras farm in the United States. Hudson Valley Foie Gras tortures birds and pollutes the earth. The company has been fined tens of thousands of dollars for violations of the Clean Water Act.

We temporarily took down their website ( ) and online store, and uncovered name/address/phone number/credit card details for over 1,200 customers who purchased foie gras and duck flesh products between June 2012 and April 2013.”

The activists targeted customers and chefs in California, where foie gras is banned and also released their information to Negotiation is Over!

Foie gras supporters are calling the actions of both the hackers and others who helped distribute the information shameful, including Amar Santana, chef-owner of Broadway by Amar Santana, who is still serving foie gras and circumventing the ban by offering it for free with a $55 glass of wine.

Jerry W. Vlasak, press officer for the NAALPO told the OC Register he doesn’t care.

As long as he is complicit in animal cruelty, I donít particularly care what he thinks. As a press organization, we are just passing along information made public and which exists elsewhere in the public domain. As someone who buys and sells foie gras, he is responsible for the untold suffering of ducks and geese who are mistreated and then killed to produce a delicacy for the rich.

HVFG sent a statement to Eater assuring everyone that no customers’ credit card information was compromised and that the actions are being investigated by state and federal authorities.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a letter to California’s Attorney General following the hack asking that the ban on the production and sale of foie gras be upheld and that those defying the law be investigated, along with pointing out the state could recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines levied against HVFG.

“Hundreds of thousands of ducks suffer immensely in the cruel process of force-feeding,” said Stephen Wells, ALDF executive director. “At a time like this, we cannot afford to be subsidizing rich out-of-state corporations by ignoring the money they owe this state. We hope Attorney General Harris will act on this information, which indicates Hudson Valley Foie Gras has intentionally disregarded California law.”

Like other cruel foie gras producers, HVFG force feeds ducks large quantities of grain to produce diseased livers via gavage — a production practice that will never be humane and has been banned in more than a dozen countries over animal welfare concerns including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Unfortunately for HVFG this isn’t its only headache at the moment. The New York-based company is also being sued for false advertising for calling its product “the Humane Choice” by the ALDF and co-plaintiff, Ella Nemcova, who operates The Regal Vegan, a Brooklyn-based company that offers a legitimately humane plant-based alternative – Faux Gras.

According to the ALDF this marks the first time a humane competitor has joined forces with an animal protection group and used false advertising to bring a case to federal court. HVFG tried to have the case dismissed, but was unsuccessful. The court ruled that the company violated the federal Lanham Act and Californiaís False Advertising and Unfair Competition Laws.

“The courtís decision demonstrates that misleading well-intentioned consumers is actionable under the law. Consumers deserve to know the truth about the exploitation of ducks and the reality behind foie grasís force-fed lies,” said Wells. “The Animal Legal Defense Fund will hold Hudson Valley accountable for its cruelty and deception.”

Warning: video contains graphic images.


Related Stories:

Restaurant Defies Foie Gras Ban in San Francisco

European Lawmakers Come Forward to Support a Foie Gras Ban

Angry Chefs Block California Foie Gras Ban


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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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9:32PM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

This is something a cause I spent tons of time on before i was gone from C2 for a few years.

PLEASE SIGN PETITIONS. Call restaurants in your area and do something. I wish I could find the link I had posted in my group that allowed everyone to put any zip code in a box and the restaurants all showed up in your area.

I think this is great that the
Activists Hack Foie Gras Producer’s Website and Release Customer Details ..... I love the organization that did this.

People that eat this are severe abusers and as bad as all involved in this barbaric process.

Any chance you get please try and do something. It's not stopping yet. there was a promise of a ban in one state a few years back and it got over turned. I believe it was NY state. Not sure?? I couldn't believe it. They said yes to the ban and gone.

The asshole people that eat it unfortunatelly just don't give a da**!! They do not care. Abusers...

10:33AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

I applaude the activists who did this, anything and everything needs to be done to end this torturous practice. I cannot watch the video, what I have read and my immagination is more than enough to make me broken hearted. Ban this product everywhere and then there will be no need to force feed and horrifically abuse these poor animals.

4:30AM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

thanks for sharing

8:35AM PDT on May 29, 2013

thank you for sharing

10:15AM PDT on May 11, 2013

Hudson Valley Foie Gras..another terrorist organization.

9:18AM PDT on May 5, 2013

They're HEROS! Whatever it takes to end this evil procedure.

1:04AM PDT on May 5, 2013

Now we have to shut up the right-wing media. Wish us luck.

9:30AM PDT on May 4, 2013

The sad thing is, most people who eat foie gras know full well how it is produced, and how much the birds suffer - and they just don't give a damn. I have had people tell me this to my face. It's distressing and maddening.

8:09AM PDT on May 4, 2013

Stupid people who eat it and participate in the cruelty.

6:30PM PDT on May 3, 2013

Stupid asshole people eat it!!!!!!

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