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Warehouse fire kills 15,000 ducks

November 3, 2007

I’m going to go ahead and post the whole article since it isn’t very long.

I wanted to share this because it shows the great tragedy of housing thousands of animals in one building. We see this every time a hurricane or tornado strikes and nobody ever seems to learn from it. I doubt anyone will learn from this incident either, especially not the production manager, as you can see from his quote at the bottom of the article.

Warehouse fire kills 15,000 ducks

October 31, 2007

Bethel – Some 15,000 breeding ducks were incinerated in a fire just last night near Swan Lake.

Towering flames that could be seen half way across the county ripped through a warehouse rented by the Hudson Valley Foie Gras, destroying the 30-by-450 foot warehouse, a garage containing equipment, and a car.

The fire also damaged two mobile homes, where workers were staying at the plant on Fittkau Road. Nobody was injured.

“It was very intense for quite some time,” said Mark Pennell, chief of the Kauneonga Lake fire department, standing near the charred wood beams and twisted tin panelling that was still smoking this morning.

“You could see the glow. It was like sunrise.”

Several volunteer fire companies arrived shortly after the fire erupted at midnight, but were helpless to stop the flames. No water was available on site.

Hoses had to be run for a mile to Airport Road. Tanker trucks shuttled back and forth from a pond at the fire training center three miles away.

At the height of the fire, a tremendous amount of duck feces oozed out of one side of the building.

Investigators believe the fire started in the garage, where the machinery and the heating system for the plant was located. The fire then jumped to the main building.

Exhaust fans used to cool the building sucked the flames through the three stories. The building and garage burned to the foundation.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Pennell said.

The lost ducks were specially selected from France and used exclusively for breeding, Hudson Valley owner Izzy Yanay said.

Yanay could not place a value on the loss, but that it was considerable and could not have come at a worse time. The specialty duck livers produced by the company are most in demand around the holidays.

Foie Gras production is controversial. Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the nation’s largest producer, has come under attack by animal rights groups.

But Yanay believes the fire was accidental.

“It is not going to take long before we have a solution,” he said.

“We won’t have a problem with production.”


4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2007 3:25 pm

    i absolutely cannot stand it when an article about animals dying say things like “nobody was injured.” grrrrr.

  2. November 3, 2007 4:44 pm

    It’s a tragedy what happened to these animals. Being burned alive or forced to go thru the methods of production in a foie gras farm. Poor ducks never had a chance.

    Here is a couple links from APRL. The first link is an article from an investigation into this specific farm. The second is pictures from Yanay’s “wholesome” farm.

  3. November 4, 2007 4:19 pm

    Hudson Valley Foie Gras is a small, artisanal farm. 15,000 may sound like a lot, but it is nothing compared to other poultry rearng operations.

    There were actually only 11,000 ducks in the building, with 60,000 square feet of floor space. That’s more room per bird than any other poultry rearing facility I know about.

    The real tragedy is that these ducks lost their lives. Foie gras production, however, is not tragic. It has been studied by independent scientists and vets who’ve found the hand-feeding process to be humane.

    For more information about the animal welfare aspects of foie gras, check out the links at LegalFoieGras.

  4. November 10, 2007 8:45 pm


    With all due respect, your comment is the most annoying comment ever posted to my blog or any blog in the entire universe.

    I checked out your website. Your research is full of so many holes it isn’t funny. How in the world can you cite websites like activistcash and the center for consumer freedom? Do you know who is behind those sites? Have you ever actually looked at the annual reports of these organizations that you claim or spending money frivolously?

    So what if there were only 11,000 ducks in that fire, and not 15,000. The tragedy is that they all died, and they will all be replaced, and that their predecessors will be treated the exact same way. You might not think it’s horrific because you’re convinced that the videos are “edited” and “made up”, but I am convinced they are not. Perhaps you should actually take a tour of your favorite foie gras farm and see how they actually operate. Not the one you’ve already toured, but, say … the one in Canada that was recently busted for cruelty to animals. Tour that one and tell me the tapes are made up.

    Yeah, the pictures of the dead geese covered in filth and feces are made up. Sure. Whatever you say.

    Ah, just get a life already and go stick your nose in someone else’s business.

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