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`Horror' video causing a flap

FARMINGTON, Calif. - (KRT) - One key weapon in the animal rights campaign against foie gras is a video shot by the San Diego-based Animal Protection and Rescue League at Sonoma Foie Gras. Taped on the sly by group members who snuck onto the farm after dark about 12 times, the footage shows barrels full of dead ducks plus live ducks that are hobbling, struggling and in one case bleeding from the rear end while a rat nibbles away.

"We wanted to document the animal cruelty that goes into the foie gras product," League co-director Bryan Pease says.

Sonoma owner Guillermo Gonzalez complains that this "horror video" just crams together disturbing but inevitable farm images, such as lame or dead animals. He adds, "I personally have never seen a duck bleeding from the rear. ... I very seriously believe - I'm almost convinced - that this was staged."

The notion incenses Pease.

"How would that even work?" he asks. "You stick something on the back of the duck, and then we brought the rat, too, and the rat is just going to go and eat the wounds of the duck?"

Gonzalez says: "It's very easy for someone in the middle of the night to put some chicken wire around the pen, to put some substance in the rear of the duck that may be attractive for a rat to come and nibble."

Back to Pease: "Guillermo Gonzalez's accusation about us staging that footage is one of the craziest, stupidest things I've ever heard this psychotic animal torturer ever say. It comes down to who are you going to believe, the guy who's force-feeding the ducks or the people who are volunteering their time to put an end to it?"