Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Dirty Dancer Says Give Foie-gras the Boot This Christmas

Release date: 
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Josef Brown " the star of the West End hit Dirty Dancing " has lent his support to international animal welfare group Viva!'s campaign for a foie-gras free Britain. Foie-gras comes from force feeding ducks and geese until their livers swell 10-fold and France is the main producer.

Josef says: "The production of Foie-gras is one of the most inhumane practices we currently exploit non-human animals for. The consumption of it is barbaric or at the very least, the height of ignorance. The contradiction that the UK makes it illegal to produce Foie-gras but legal to import and consume it is a mockery. And at this time of the year, while it is true that Christmas has at its core the idea of suffering - that of Christ suffering on the cross for the sins of humanity - the message in this act was supposed to promote compassion and love. Surely, 2000 years later we are capable of extending our compassion beyond our own species and embrace a greater vision of our planet and our place in it."

Viva! is launching a national Day of Action on Saturday, December 15, as part of its campaign to make Britain foie-gras free. Viva! campaigners all over the UK will mount peaceful actions to persuade us Brits to reject foie-gras by simulating being force fed. Sales hit a peak before Christmas and leaflets will call on shoppers to reject this "gourmet luxury' and have a veggie festive feast instead.

Birds used in foie-gras production have a pipe pushed down their oesophagus and food is forced into their stomachs two or three times daily for two to three weeks until the birds develop fatty liver disease. Around a million birds annually die during this process. Over 90 per cent of the 30 million birds used every year in France for foie-gras are male ducks. Females are not used, instead they are gassed or minced alive at a few days old.

Viva! has already persuaded supermarket chains Lidl and Makro to pull foie-gras and was instrumental in Harvey Nichols decision to drop it. Countries which have outlawed it are Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Israel.

For more information on the event, photos or video of foie gras production, contact Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or visit www.viva.org.uk/foiegras.