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Animal Defenders International

Animal welfare groups urge Fortnum & Mason to end foie gras sales

Posted: 24 October 2012. Updated: 11 December 2012

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ADI and other leading animal protection groups – including Animal Aid, Compassion in World Farming, Four Paws, One Kind, RSPCA, Save Me, Viva!, and the International Veterinary Information Society – have joined PETA’s call for Fortnum & Mason to remove cruelly produced foie gras from its shelves.

In a joint letter the groups voice their opposition to the barbaric force-feeding of ducks and geese and refute the store’s claim that less than 1 per cent of the population are opposed to foie gras sales – a 2007 poll conducted by Ipsos MORI and commissioned by the RSPCA showed that 63 per cent of the public support a ban on the sale of foie gras in the UK and the number is now believed to be even higher.

ADI Chief Executive, Jan Creamer, said: “It is hard to imagine why anyone would want to buy this grotesque and barbarically produced “delicacy”, which it is illegal to produce in the UK. Animal Defenders International and our supporters oppose this cruel industry, as do the compassionate majority. We urge Fortnum & Mason to do the right thing and stop selling foie gras.”

Birds raised for foie gras are force-fed huge amounts of grain three or four times every day via a metal pipe that is rammed down their throats. The birds’ livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size, resulting in a disease known as “hepatic steatosis". Their breathing can become laboured as their engorged livers press against their lungs, and they often experience difficulty walking, grooming and even drinking.

Animal protection organisations recently met with members of the European Parliament in Brussels to call for an EU ban on the force-feeding of birds for foie gras production, which is already banned in the UK. It is allowed in just five European countries – including France – which is why Fortnum & Mason pays French farmers to force-feed geese on its behalf before importing their diseased livers back into the UK to sell in its Piccadilly store.

  • Contact Fortnum & Mason here
  • Find out more about foie gras production and how you can help here

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