Isn't it mad that foie-gras production is so cruel that it is essentially banned in Britain, yet nothing controls its importation or sale in this country? That's why we believe that the Government should ban imports. If you agree please sign the petition and support Viva!'s campaign to make Britain foie-gras free ...
You can’t do better than have the entire front page of the Daily Mirror supporting you – and that’s what we achieved with our brilliant campaign to outlaw foie-gras in Britain. Through massive media coverage we are getting closer to a ban on the importation of this obscene product but we really do need your help to make it happen.
Successive governments have feebly quoted global trade rules as the reason why they can’t stop this disgusting product from being imported – so cruel that in this country it would land any producer in court. It is an abuse of democracy and an indication of weak leadership that producing foie-gras in Britain is illegal yet anyone who chooses to can import and market it. Why do we even bother to have animal welfare laws if they can be so wilfully ignored?
The World Trade Organisation has already reiterated its support for a ban on importing seal products into the EU because of ethical concerns. So, morality can be a valid objection to the world order and foie-gras could and should be treated similarly – and we are determined to see it happen.
A ban cannot come soon enough. Last year we worked with French colleagues to expose the horrendous conditions on farms belonging to French foie-gras producer, Ernest Soulard. We are used to exposing cruelty but what we discovered shocked us deeply.
Beautiful ducks, who should be pristinely white, are crammed into tiny, solitary cages, their feathers soiled with excrement, blood and dried yellow corn mush. Fearful eyes watched the cameras in case the same was done to them as by the masked man who visits them twice a day; pushing a metal tube down their throats and into their gullets in order to pump them full to bursting point with mushy corn.
The purpose is to disease these little creatures by forcing their livers to swell – up to 10 times the size they are meant to be.
These magnificent birds are also denied what should be the focus of their lives – water. Some remain upright in their cages because of their grossly-inflated livers, panting, desperately trying to draw breath. For some, the pain and suffering are too much and they collapse on to their filthy wire floors to die.
Those responsible are not rogue producers because in France, the law demands that birds are abused in this manner – it is part and parcel of their “natural heritage”. It is not our natural heritage, yet Britain imports more of this sickening foodstuff than many other European countries.
The shockwaves from our investigation have been felt across the world. With chef Gordon Ramsay as the target, the Daily Mirror continued backing our campaign throughout November. Ramsay dropped Soulard in a flash.
Our footage left the French agricultural minister publicly fuming and was shown on television across Europe, as well as being seen on Youtube by over 80,000 people. Denmark’s top chef dumped it (as did supermarkets across Scandinavia) and across Britain restaurants fell over themselves to erase it from their menus.
We scored another amazing success when we persuaded Amazon – the world’s biggest online retailer – to drop foie-gras in all its forms and we’re keeping up the pressure on eBay to follow suit.
We have achieved all this with your help, but we need to do more. The consumer boycott has been truly effective but while it is legal to sell foie-gras in Britain, some unprincipled people will continue to buy it.
That is why we have to bring about a ban on this very un-British cruelty.
Governments only act when there is an outcry from those whose vote for them and so we need your continued help to attain this achievable ban. In 2014, we aim to expose more cruelty through new undercover investigations. We will be launching a ‘foie-gras free charter’ for hotel chains and restaurants across Britain to guarantee it doesn’t creep back onto menus. We will, with compelling materials, continue supporting local groups who are campaigning against restaurants.
We will be hammering the media with stories and courting journalists as hard as we can. And, of course, this will all put pressure on politicians to get off their knees and finally ban foie-gras.
It’s going to cost money – quite a lot of money and as a relatively small charity, it is not something we have much of. You have seen what we have achieved in 2013, so just imagine what we can achieve together this year for these tortured birds.
Please sign our petition to the government demanding a ban (it only takes a minute!) – but please, also give a donation no matter how big or small. Whatever you can give will be gratefully received and will go towards removing this shame from Britain and at last making us foie-gras free. My sincere thanks.
Yours for the animals
Founder & Director