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Sir Roger Moore Named PETA's 2009 Person of the Year

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Sir Roger Moore
Sir Roger Moore – PETA's 2009 Person of the Year

For his generous and vigorous support in exposing the "rather ugly" conditions in which ducks and geese suffer during the production of foie gras, legendary film actor Sir Roger Moore has been named PETA UK's 2009 Person of the Year.

"There are vile and inhumane practices all over the world", wrote Sir Roger in a hard-hitting editorial that was published on 22 September, "but I have always been a great believer in the power of education to change things."

Moore jumped into the fray three years ago when he narrated a moving PETA video depicting the treatment of birds used in foie gras production – a practice which, like bullfighting, is banned in the UK on grounds of cruelty to animals. The video has been viewed more than 300,000 times on PETA websites. In the meantime, Moore has written to every member of the House of Commons asking each of them to do what she or he can to end foie gras sales in the UK, where, ironically, it is illegal to produce foie gras but still legal to sell it. Sir Roger has also authored pieces for a number of national publications in order to spread the word further.

"Abhorring cruelty to animals is not sentimental nonsense", Moore wrote. "We share the planet with these creatures who are often at our mercy."

Birds used for foie gras are immobilised in tiny crates. Several times a day, a worker jams a pipe down their throats and force-feeds them a corn mash. As a result, the birds' livers expand to up to 10 times their normal size. The animals – who live in constant fear and stress – become sick, and many of them are unable to move because of their diseased livers. The pipes sometimes puncture the birds' throats, causing the animals to bleed to death, and the birds' internal organs sometimes rupture.

Sir Roger will receive a plaque and a copy of PETA Managing Director Ingrid E Newkirk's book One Can Make a Difference – for he certainly has.

"I am deeply touched and thrilled to be awarded the PETA UK Person of the Year", says Moore. "When I first saw their video footage on foie gras production three years ago, I felt compelled to do something to help put a stop to this cruel delicacy. I have since become a passionate campaigner against foie gras and am most humbled that my passion has helped make a positive difference in the lives of these animals."

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