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Animal Protection and Rescue League: Force Feeding Ban Applies to Feathers-- Down Jacket Company Drops Suit

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gauge Outfitters, doing business as Elevation Sports, today ended its involvement in a lawsuit brought by foie gras producers to strike down California's ban on products from force fed birds. The move came about after actress Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland, Just Shoot Me), contacted the business owner regarding a video she narrated showing conditions in the foie gras farms owned by the other plaintiffs in the suit.

"The owner of Gauge Outfitters told me specifically he did not like the idea of ducks being force fed for foie gras, and he was only convinced to join the lawsuit by the force feeders' attorney, who convinced him he could not prove where the feathers in his down jackets came from," states Bryan Pease, attorney for the Animal Protection and Rescue League, a group that helped pass the ban and filed an amicus brief in the case.

In its Sept. 28 order denying the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction to block the law pending the final outcome of the case, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson noted, "North Face and Patagonia each indicate on their websites that they have taken steps to ensure that the down feathers they use in their products are not the product of 'force fed' birds."

The plaintiffs had argued that Gauge and other suppliers of products from force fed birds have "no idea" how much the birds were fed.  However, the Court ruled, "This argument misses the purpose of the vagueness inquiry...Though it may be difficult to determine where a particular duck liver, breast, or feather came from, it is clear that the government must [in order to prosecute] prove that at least some portion of the product being sold come from a bird that was force fed for the purpose of enlarging its liver."

"No other industry force feeds animals except for foie gras producers, and the U.S. District Court has made clear that all products made from these force fed birds are illegal to sell in California," states Pease.

More information about the Animal Protection and Rescue League's animal cruelty investigations into the controversial force feeding industry, including Hudson Valley Foie Gras, is posted at

SOURCE Animal Protection and Rescue League