25th February 2008
Prince Charles says ?Non? to cruel p?t
Foie-gras off the menu at Highgrove
IN a move set to upset the entente cordiale, Prince Charles has declared his home a foie-gras free zone.
In a letter* to animal campaigning group Viva!, Prince Charles? estate has confirmed that His Royal Highness does not approve of the controversial French p?t?. He has instructed his chefs not to purchase the product so cruel, say campaigners, that it has been dubbed ?torture in a tin?.
The letter also confirmed that a supplier to the Prince of Wales ? The House of Cheese in Tetbury ? would have their Royal warrant reviewed when the business refused to remove foie-gras from sale after Viva!?s recent consumer Day of Action last December.
Foie-gras is produced by force feeding ducks or geese large amounts of food so that their livers swell to up to ten times the normal size. A pipe is shoved down the bird?s oesophagus and food is forced into the stomach. The process is repeated two or three times daily for two to three weeks until the birds develop fatty liver disease. The birds are then slaughtered. Over 90 per cent of birds used in foie-gras production are ducks, with around a million birds dying during force-feeding each year.
Foie-gras is not produced in Britain, as the government has made it clear that its production would contravene existing animal welfare regulations. However, tons are legally imported each year. Government minister Lord Rooker has told Viva! the Government are currently considering loopholes in EU legislation which may allow a ban on imports of foie-gras, because of public morality and animal welfare concerns. Its production has been outlawed in Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Israel.
Viva! recently held a Day of Action against foie-gras, which saw over 400 people take part in peaceful actions. The group persuaded UK branches of Lidl and Makro to pull foie-gras and was instrumental in Harvey Nichols decision to drop it. The BBC has told Viva! that they will not cater with foie-gras in the future, the Marriot hotel chain has said that it is likely they would remove foie-gras from future menus, and most recently Fortnum & Mason have vowed to remove duck foie-gras from sale after a peaceful Viva! protest outside the store before Christmas. Viva! have also produced their own satirical on-line film on foie-gras, which can be viewed at www.viva.org.uk/foiegras.
Viva! campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell, says: ?Prince Charles has outdated views on hunting, but he is to be congratulated for taking a stand against foie-gras. There is nothing humane about mechanically inducing disease in a bird by forcing a pipe down its throat and making him consume such an abnormal quantity of food that his liver expands many times its normal size. The Royal approval for the campaign to make Britain foie-gras free is invaluable. We ask consumers everywhere to give foie-gras the elbow and go vegetarian.?
Notes to Editors
* A copy of the letter from Andrew Farquharson (The Deputy Master of the Household of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall) is available on request.
A fully referenced factsheet on foie-gras production can be read at For more information on the campaign, photos or video of foie-gras production, contact Justin Kerswell or press officer Helen Rossiter on 0117 944 1000 or visit www.viva.org.uk/foiegras