Animal Aid

Boycott Foie Gras!

Posted 7 February 2007

DEFRA Minister, Ben Bradshaw, has said that consumers should boycott foie gras, the shockingly cruel product that is obtained by force-feeding geese and ducks. The production of foie gras is banned in the UK but, because of trade laws, it can still be imported into the country. Bradshaw said: 'We believe that the production of foie gras using force-feeding gives rise to serious welfare concerns … We hope that public pressure will contribute to an end to this practice.'

Ducks and geese have large quantities of corn and fat pumped directly into their stomachs via a funnel. This happens four times a day for up to 18 days and causes the animals' livers to swell up to ten times their normal size.

The tube that is pushed down their throats can cause serious injuries including rupture of the oesophagus and stomach. Unsurprisingly, the mortality rate of birds on a foie gras farm is up to 20 times greater than that of other poultry farms, where the death rate is also extraordinarily high. In the UK, one in 20 broiler chickens - that is, 130 million birds - die before they reach slaughter weight every year.

Force-feeding ducks and geese it also outlawed in a number of countries including Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Israel. And the City of Chicago in the US has banned the sale of foie gras.

In December, Sainsbury's and Lidl removed all foie gras from their stores and most supermarkets have already made the decision not to stock it. Sadly, chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey continue to serve the diseased livers at their restaurants.

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