Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Bristol garden centre praised for dropping foie-gras

Release date: 
Monday, January 23, 2012

A BRISTOL garden and leisure centre has been congratulated by campaigning animal group Viva! for dropping foie-gras made from the livers of force-fed ducks, from its food hall. Cadbury Garden & Leisure, of Congresbury, decided to remove the cruel delicacy - dubbed torture in a tin by Viva! - following pressure from a local supporter of the group, which is based in Bristol. Irene and Mike Mason of Nailsea, were shocked to see foie-gras for sale during a visit to the garden centre last year. Mike said: “We were appalled to see this disgusting 'food' for sale at our local garden centre and so we complained. So we are delighted the company have taken the decision to remove it. He said: “Foie-gras is produced by imprisoning birds in cages so tiny they can't move, by forcing a pipe down their throats and force feeding them until their livers swell to ten times their natural size. I can't imagine why anyone would want to eat it - or be involved in its sale. I hope other local business follow their example by saying no to foie-gras. Cadbury Garden & Leisure said in a letter to Mr Mason that their food buyer had de-listed the product to ensure that no new stocks were purchased. Viva! campaigns director, Justin Kerswell, says: “Foie-gras is torture in a tin. There is nothing humane about mechanically inducing disease in a bird by forcing a pipe down his throat and making him consume such an abnormal quantity of food that his liver expands many times its normal size. We welcome Cadbury Garden & Leisure's decision to not serve foie-gras. We ask consumers everywhere to give it the elbow and go vegetarian. For more information about Viva!'s campaign against foie-gras, visit www.viva.org.uk/foiegras or call 0117 944 1000. ENDS For more information about this media release, call press officer Helen Rossiter or Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or email helen@viva.org.uk or justin@viva.org.uk . Notes to Editors Foie-gras is produced by force feeding ducks or geese such large amounts of food that their livers swell to up to 10 times normal size. A pipe is shoved down the bird's oesophagus and food is pumped into the stomach. The process is repeated two or three times daily for two to three weeks until the birds develop fatty liver disease. Over 90 per cent of birds used in foie-gras production are ducks, most of which are tightly caged during force-feeding. Over 30 million birds are killed for foie-gras each year in France, with around a million dying during the force-feeding process. Britain is a major importer. Foie-gras is not produced in Britain as the Government has made it clear that its production would contravene existing animal welfare regulations. However, it is legal to import it. Previous Government minister for animal welfare, Ben Bradshaw, encouraged a consumer boycott. Viva! has also persuaded supermarket chain Lidl and wholesalers Makro to remove foie-gras from sale. House of Fraser also recently bowed to public pressure and is now completely foie-gras free while many independent restaurants across the UK have permanently removed the product from sale. In 2004, Viva! successfully campaigned in California for legislation outlawing the production and sale of foie-gras.