Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Consumer power and James Bond triumph over national hotel chain dropping foie-gras at Christmas

Release date: 
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CAMPAIGING animal group Viva! has congratulated a national hotel chain for dropping foie-gras made from the livers of force-fed ducks, from its New Year menu.

City Inns, based in six cities across the UK, decided to remove the cruel delicacy " dubbed torture in a tin by Viva! " following pressure from supporters of the Bristol-based group.

The move has been welcomed by James Bond star, Sir Roger Moore, who has become a passionate campaigner against the product.

He said: "Foie-gras is barbarism masquerading as a delicacy; obtained 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. Congratulations to Viva! for fighting this awful cruelty. I'll also raise a glass to City Inn Hotels now that they have taken foie-gras off their Christmas and the New Year menus! I hope their new ethical policy will extend all year round.'

Viva! campaigns manager, 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 City Inn's decision to not to serve foie-gras. We ask consumers everywhere to give foie-gras the elbow this Christmas 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.