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Legislation must protect animals

January 20, 2011
Barbara Steinberg

This bill, which I asked Rep. Fontaine to introduce, is on the issue of backyard slaughter and the need for changes to protect animals from such cruelty. There was heated discussion when Rep. Fountain discussed this bill. Several offered comments on the topic:

If cruelty to animals is involved in a cultural tradition, it does not make it a nice, good tradition. If rigid and unyielding traditions are perceived today as unethical or morally offensive, they must change for the good of the whole.

The cruel methods of slaughter involve slitting the throats of fully conscious animals, then letting them bleed to death, which may take hours. Sen. Baker said there is an issue of sanitation.

Rep. Fontaine said Maui has some mobile slaughterhouses and that building a new slaughterhouse is also great idea. People could take their animal to be killed for food, which could be done more humanely and in a more sanitary environment.

One young girl said, “I slaughter a pig in my yard. Does culture count for anything?” Others were very emotional, expressing that the culture in regards to animals has to change.

Rep. Angus McKelvey’s bill will ban the sale and production of products made from force-fed geese/ducks (foie gras) in Hawai‘i. Many were interested in supporting this ban due to the cruelty involved. The birds are induced to suffer with a liver disease called hepatic lipidosis, in which a grotesquely enlarged liver results. The resultant liver is then served as a French delicacy known as foie gras.

The production of foie gras is perceived today as unethical, and is imported to Hawai‘i. What makes this production unethical is the unnatural and painful force-feeding of a waterfowl. A 12-inch metal or plastic tube is rammed into the esophagus of ducks or geese, up to three times a day for up to four weeks. The goal of the farmer is to make the birds sick, to the point of death. Research has also shown that this fatty liver product, has the potential to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes II in humans.

Please support these two bills to be introduced soon in the state House and Senate as companion bills, and send in your testimonials to the legislature at



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