|Feathers as Fashion|
It seems that a fairly common custom is to pick the feathers out of living geese - not dead and slaughtered geese. The practise is forbidden in the EU, but apparently this law is not enforced in Poland and Hungary, according to the documentary. The footage shown is revolting. The geese scream in their pain. The biggest wounds resulting from the torture are hastily sown together by their torturers - so that the animals will not bleed to death but be ready for another "treatment" later on.
The geese have to endure this torture 3-4 times before slaughter, unless they are especially unlucky and after this torture are being sent to one of these farms where they are force-fed to enlarge their liver before death finally releases them from human torture.
A leading Swedish veterinary, commenting on the footage, called the practice "torture" and compared it to ripping out the hair of a human skull. "Double torture"... "...their lives are Hell on earth", was the commentary of the veterinary - Johan Beck-Fries - member of a Swedish governmental commission.
Geese suffer the agony of being plucked alive four or five times during their short lives, despite the arrival on the market in the 1960s of warm lightweight synthetics to replace down.
Plucking is a traditional activity in Hungary where the geese are plucked 3-4 times a year. Feathers from live animals are considered better quality.
Fois Gras production is a massive and obviously cruel trade in Hungary, which is quite clearly condemned by the EU public and the Commission as well (Directive 88/306 EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes.
No Bed of Feathers for a Goose in Hungary:
The torture of geese in Poland, Hungary and China: