For several years, FOUR PAWS UK has supported calls to ban the sale of foie gras in the UK. Today, on #WorldDayAgainstFoieGras, we wanted to expand on why this incredibly cruel and controversial product must be taken off supermarket shelves and restaurant menus for good.
While seen as a delicacy to some, the production of foie gras causes unimaginable suffering to millions of birds. Despite a ban on production in the UK in 2006, we still import around 200 tonnes from mainland Europe each year to satisfy our tastebuds, despite opinion polls consistently showing overwhelming public support for an import ban. By allowing the import of foie gras, we are condoning an industry that is inherently cruel. This is the same industry where live plucking occurs to make our down feather coats and duvets, and you can read more about this in the latest edition of FAUX PAWS.
Foie gras is mainly produced in France, where birds are restrained and force-fed with a long metal feeding tube. This practice causes the birds’ livers to swell to ten times their natural size, and its this diseased liver that is then sold and marketed as foie gras.
The force feeding combined with the poor keeping conditions often leads to serious bone and liver issues, as well as damage to the oesophagus, diarrhoea, heat stress, fractures of the sternum, and of course severe psychological distress.
Since foie gras is made from the livers of only male ducks, all female ducklings—40 million of them each year in France alone—are useless to the industry and are therefore killed after hatching.
In the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, they committed to acquiring evidence to make a decision once and for all on banning the import and sale of foie gras. On this World Day Against Foie Gras, we are urging the Government to stick to that commitment and rid our restaurants and our plates of this cruelty once and for all.
Millions of birds suffer force feeding and cruel treatment, just for foie gras to be on the menu. Join me on calling on @BorisJohnson to end the sale and import of foie gras in the UK this #WorldDayAgainstFoieGras #animalwelfare
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