Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

'Torture in a Tin' taken off Thomson Cruises Menus

Major holiday company dumps foie-gras after protests

Release date: 
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

HOLIDAYMAKERS boarding international cruises laid on by Thomson holidays will no longer be able to order foie-gras at dinner, due to concerns about its cruel production. Viva!, Europe's largest campaigning vegetarian organisation, is claiming victory after the chain decided to remove it from its menus with immediate effect when they learned about the abject cruelty involved in the production of the 'delicacy'. 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. Newly appointed TUI Travel cruise managing director, Fraser Ellacott, said in a letter to Viva!: “We have reviewed our food content on all our ships within the fleet and can confirm that foie-gras has been removed with immediate effect. “I can assure you that as part of my overall review of our business, the important factors of sustainable development and ethical standards generally, will feature very highly. Viva! campaigns director, Justin Kerswell, says: “We would like to congratulate Thomson for making the decision to remove foie-gras from their menus. Such a barbaric product has no place on any dinner table and we hope that other companies will follow suit and review their policy on its availability. “Viva! will be writing to other cruise companies with the same request, I sincerely hope they also decide to ditch foie-gras, to keep high cruelty off the high seas. For more information about Viva!'s campaign against foie-gras, visit www.viva.org.uk/foiegras. ENDS Notes to Editors 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. They 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. Its production has been outlawed in Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Israel. 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 and are considering dropping it from future editions of shows such as Masterchef. The Marriot hotel chain has also said that it is likely they would remove foie-gras from future menus. Dozens of smaller businesses throughout the UK have also followed suit following Viva!'s intervention. Viva! have produced their own satirical on-line film on foie-gras, which can be viewed at www.viva.org.uk/foiegras. A fully referenced factsheet on foie-gras production can be read at http://www.viva.org.uk/campaigns/foiegras/factsheet.html 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