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The association ​


Stop Gavage Suisse is an association founded at the beginning of 2017 in Switzerland. There are a number of reasons for its creation. Firstly, the inconsistency between the fact that foie gras production has been banned in Switzerland since 1978 while Switzerland is one of the leading importers of foie gras, with around 300 tonnes per year. Secondly, the fact that the majority of Swiss people does not consume foie gras and that it is consumed mainly in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. In view of these various observations, it became clear to us that fighting  foie gras in Switzerland would make it possible to save a large number of birds fairly quickly.

We chose to call ourselves Stop Gavage Suisse and not Stop Foie Gras Suisse, because it seemed more relevant and logical to us to put the spotlight on the practice of force-feeding, which is a real torture, rather than on the foie gras product, which could possibly be obtained by other, less cruel means. On the other hand, our proximity to the association Stop Gavage/L214 in France encouraged us, with their endorsement, to keep this name. We also owe them as they share with us the many images of livestock they have.

Our vision​


Stop Gavage Suisse is part of a movement that wants a society mindful of all sentient beings needs. We dream of a world where animals are no longer exploited. The association believes that animals are not goods at the disposal of  humans and that their interests deserve consideration.

Our mission statement​


The association Stop Gavage Suisse focuses on a specific topic: the feeding of birds for foie gras intended for consumption in Switzerland. We are working towards a ban on the import of foie gras into Switzerland. Although this is a very specific issue, it actually concerns a very large number of animals: around one million birds each year. By comparison, the number of cattle in Switzerland is about 1.5 million.

Unlike most other animal issues, force-feeding has the particularity of being an area where it seems possible to achieve concrete results in the near future. Indeed, Switzerland has made the moral and ethical choice to ban force-feeding for many years (1978), but foie gras is still imported in large quantities, mainly for the French-speaking part of Switzerland, as the German-speaking part of Switzerland does not appreciate it very much.

Our reasons to act: foie gras production

We are talking here only about ducks, which are the vast majority of force-fed birds, with geese representing only a small percentage. On the other hand, we only present here the most common production method (cages and hydraulic pumps). For a more detailed description, read our article on foie gras production.


All the information given here comes from L214/Stop Gavage, which remains the reference on the topics. If you feel brave enough, we strongly recommend that you watch some of their many videos shot with hidden cameras. They illustrate the reality of the ducks' life in these farms better than words. However, we have deliberately limited the number of violent images on our website: our aim is to inform without traumatising.

The conception: artificial insemination

The vast majority of the birds used by the industry are so-called mulards, a crossbreeding between a Barbary duck and a Peking duck. The ducks are artificially inseminated on farms that produce eggs specifically for industrial hatcheries.

Birth: industrial hatchery

The eggs are placed in large heated cabinets. The controlled temperature allows them to hatch, all at the same time, in order to meet the needs of the industry. The ducklings are born in large plastic baskets surrounded by their fellow ducklings and egg shells.

Sexing: the massacre of females

From the first moments of their lives, the ducklings are sorted according to their sex. The females will be eliminated immediately, usually by crushing, as they are not profitable for the industry. Their liver would be smaller and more venous. The males will be kept for fattening.


Beak trimming: mutilation for yield

In order to avoid aggressive behaviour due to confinement, the ducks’ tip of the beak is burnt. This is obviously very painful because the area is very sensitive. The duck's beak is the part of its body with which it does almost everything, from searching for food to smoothing its feathers.

The pre-feeding phase: widening the crop

After these first days of life, the ducks are placed in farms where they will stay for just under three months. At the end of these three months, they will have reached their adult size and will leave for feeding. In order to prepare their crop, the pouch located at the entrance of the stomach, for this next phase and to maximise yield, they undergo alternating fasting and abundant feeding to encourage them to gorge themselves.This practice is called pre-feeding.

Force-feeding: cages for yield

After three months, they are taken to feeding sheds, which often contain several thousand birds. Five or six of them are placed in wire cages, the upper part of which can be lowered and placed on the floor of the cage, leaving only the head protruding through the bars.


Collective cages have been introduced and generalised in recent years (since 2015). Until then, ducks were kept in individual cages. The wire bottom cages allow the ducks' droppings to pass through, which causes serious damage to the legs.

Force-feeding: maize puree and hepatic steatosis

The ducks are force-fed twice a day with a high-energy corn mash. At each feeding, a dose of about 300 to 400 grams of mash is injected into the duck's crop with a hydraulic pump, using a metal tube of about 20 cm long. The shock for the ducks is immense.


They fall ill very quickly, up to the point they suffer from respiratory distress due to the place taken by their enlarged liver, which compresses the lungs. They also suffer from intense thirst. The injected doses are increased little by little, while the ducks suffer from a liver disease called hepatic steatosis, a kind of cirrhosis. Their liver is therefore sick.

Slaughter: killed at three months old

After two weeks of force-feeding (between 11 and 15 days depending on the fattening farm), the ducks are sent to the slaughterhouse. This will be the end of the ordeal for them, at the age of three months.


The normal process consists of stunning them by electrocution, then hanging them by their legs and cutting their throats so that they can bleed out. Then, once they have been plucked, their stomachs are cut open to take out their liver. It is known that slaughterhouses never respect this process 100%, and many birds are still conscious when they are bled.

Fighting preconceived ideas

Ducks, not geese

In the collective imagination, foie gras comes from geese. Almost all illustrations in articles about foie gras show geese. However, the reality is quite different: at least 90% of the world's foie gras production is made using mulard ducks and not geese. In France, this figure is over 99%.

Yes, ducks suffer from force-feeding

The industry often claims that ducks do not suffer from force-feeding. However, the EFSA scientific report of 1998 proves the contrary. Moreover, you only need to see a video of force-feeding to remove the doubt: the animals' avoidance gestures are obvious.


As for the story that ducks run towards the feeder, it’s difficult to verify its veracity in a feeding hall where ducks are locked in cages... What is described is necessarily during the pre-feeding phase, when the birds are locked together in large sheds where they undergo periods of fasting and abundant food to induce them to gorge themself (as explained above).

It's too good, so it justifies the suffering

If a paedophile were to use this kind of argument in his defence in court, he would rightly provoke a hoot of indignation. Morally, one individual's pleasure cannot justify the torture and death of another, even if that pleasure is exceptional.


This kind of argument is an indication of the dominant position of a person who crystallises the discussion around their own problem, while obscuring the interests and fundamental rights of the victim. This pattern is frequently found in other forms of oppression (racism, sexism, etc.).

Magret always comes from a force-fed duck

Magret is an invention of the foie gras industry. When this one industrialized and ended up with tons of duck carcasses from which it had taken livers, it was necessary to make them attractive. Magret was thus invented to help the sale of a part of the carcasses: the breast, also covered with fat... Buying duck breasts is the certainty of buying a piece of a force-fed animal.

Feathers and down often come from birds that have been force-fed

Once bled, the birds are plucked. As with the rest of the carcasses, the feathers and down are valued and used in the manufacture of down jackets, pillows, mattresses, sofas, etc. Given the huge quantity of ducks used by the foie gras industry, it is very likely that when you buy such an object, the feathers or down are those of ducks that have been force-fed. In Hungary, and perhaps elsewhere, geese are sometimes plucked alive several times before being force-fed for foie gras. Of course, live-plucking  is also torture for the birds.


Tradition: the status quo argument

Tradition is always the argument of the status quo. The practice may be completely illogical, unethical, polluting, dangerous, etc. If it is tradition, then nothing can be said...

And yet, tradition is one of the arguments put forward to justify inhuman, cruel and degrading practices suffered by millions of human beings throughout the world (e.g. female genital mutilation, forced and early marriages, etc.).

In the case of foie gras, even if tradition is constantly invoked, it is easy to question it:

  • Birds used are no longer the same (ducks instead of geese).

  • Feeding is done by the hydraulic pump, with corn, and no longer by hand with figs.

  • In the 11th and 12th centuries, the Toulouse region, and in fact the whole south of France, was predominantly Cathar, a branch of Christianity which advocated respect for animals. The Cathars were vegetarians because they had a moral duty to help animals. In the 12th century in Toulouse, ducks and geese were not killed, and they were certainly not force fed! If we are talking about tradition, why not take up this one, which is older than the production of foie gras?


Yes, it is possible to prohibit trade of a product while respecting free trade agreements

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), signed in 1949 and fully incorporated into the World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty, provides for exceptions to free trade in its Article XX. 


It is therefore possible to prohibit trade in a product while still complying with the WTO treaty, particularly if it is considered that such trade is detrimental to public morals (Article XX-a). It is therefore necessary to seek a law that would call for a ban on foie gras trade.

The foie gras sector is industrial, there are no small producers

The foie gras sector is now completely industrialised. In France, it is dominated by three large groups (Euralis, Labeyrie and Delpeyrat), which carry out more than 70% of the production. The others are sometimes called small producers, but only because they sell in a short circuit, i.e. on the farm or directly on the markets. The method of production remains the same in all cases: insemination, sexing, cages and hydraulic pumps.


The calculation is simple: if a feeder produces by hand, or rather by funnel, as in the 1950s, he cannot have more than a few dozen birds. With the hydraulic pump and the cages, this figure is around 2,000 birds.



The Committee

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