Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Makro Withdraws Foie-Gras Torture in a Tin

Release date: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Campaigning animal group Viva! has congratulated leading cash & carry chain Makro for their decision to end the sale of French foie-gras in all of their British stores after current stock runs out. The move follows Viva! providing the chain with disturbing information showing the inherent cruelty behind its production. Foie-gras is produced by force feeding ducks or geese large amounts of food so that their livers swell to up to 10 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. Over 4,000 tons of foie-gras is imported into the UK annually. 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. Government minister Ben Bradshaw has encouraged a consumer boycott, and currently 131 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion to ban the sale of foie-gras in the UK. Its production has been outlawed in Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Israel. In 2004, Viva! successfully campaigned in California to pass legislation outlawing both the production and selling of foie-gras. Viva!'s long running campaign against the factory farming of ducks has also ended the debeaking of ducks raised for meat. Viva! persuaded supermarket chain Lidl to cease the sale of foie-gras before Christmas " and Waitrose have credited Viva! for their decision to allow their own-label ducks access to water for swimming. House of Fraser became the latest chain to pledge to go foie-gras free earlier this month. 'Foie-gras is torture in a tin', says Viva! Senior Campaigner Justin Kerswell. "There is nothing humane about mechanically inducing disease in a bird by forcing a pipe down its throat and making it consume such an abnormal quantity of food that its liver expands many times its normal size. We welcome Makro's ethical decision to not to sell French foie-gras from force-fed birds " and ask consumers everywhere to reject foie-gras for good and go vegetarian.' Notes for Editors For more information on Viva!'s campaign against foie-gras and for hi-res photos, contact Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000, email justin@viva.org.uk, or visit http://www.viva.org.uk/foiegras [ends]