Footage taken inside their farms this year shows suffering on an almost unimaginable scale and has sparked a joint investigation by Viva! and French group L214. The footage is some of the most disturbing and heart-breaking we have seen in our 20 year history.
Update: Gordon Ramsay has stopped using Ernest Soulard after a major exposé in the Daily Mirror, but continues to serve foie-gras from other producers. The main ingredient of foie-gras is suffering. Tell him to dump it all.
Watch the horrifying undercover footage
It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that foie-gras production is so barbaric that it should have no place on British menus. Please contact Gordon Ramsay and ask him to stop serving foie-gras.
Torture in a tin
The footage filmed at farms belonging to Ernest Soulard shows ducks filthy with dirt, yellow corn and vomit. Barely able to move, let alone preen; they were encased in metal cages little bigger than their bodies. All to facilitate the inevitable forced-feeding needed to produce foie-gras.
The film shows ducks that simply could not take this twice-daily torture. Some cages contained lifeless bodies lying on the cold wire mesh. In others, those that were still barely alive panted and feebly tried to escape. One duck was so weak that his head hung from the bottom of his cage, pitifully calling for a mother who would never come. In another one duck’s eyelids twitch as life slipped away from him. His torture finally over.
Really just ducklings, they are killed at just over three months old. For those that survive that long their pain and fear is unimaginable. There are ducks with bloody injuries, some with swollen eyes and those seemingly crippled under the weight of their grossly enlarged livers.
A hidden camera left in the sheds captured the depressingly regular forced feeding. A brutality meted out with a casualness that says little about the terror it inflicts time and time again.
Mr Ramsay: dump foie-gras!
This all seems a far cry from what Gordon Ramsay tells his customers. His British restaurants used to boast that Ernest Soulard is an “… industry leader in terms of animal welfare”. They make much of the weeks that the birds have a free-range existence, but say nothing of the cages, the pneumatic pipe and abject suffering they suffer once the doors of the sheds shut for the final time.
The company, whose logo is of a duck in a bow tie, promote themselves with images of birds in fields. Yet what was found inside the walls of those six farms bore little resemblance to their promotional literature.
This is the reality of foie-gras production - and similar scenes happen across France at many other suppliers. Ramsay is a long-time apologist for one of the most heinous forms of animal suffering, but we hope that even he will not be able to justify what we found at one of his suppliers.
Please keep all messages polite.
Write: Gordon Ramsay Group, 1 Catherine Place, London, SW1E 6DX
Tel: 020 7592 1360
“Dear Mr Ramsay
I was horrified to learn of the treatment of ducks at farms in France at was until recently one of your preferred suppliers of foie-gras.
Whilst I am aware that you have long defended its use, I hope these recent revelations and undeniable suffering found at Ernest Soulard will make you think again. It rubbishes their claims to be “leaders in animal welfare”.
Whilst ducks raised for foie-gras will live free-range existence for the first few months of their lives, they spend the last fortnight tightly confined and force-fed. The footage obtained by Viva! shows filthy birds covered with feed and vomit. Some had bloody injuries and others were almost blinded. This is the reality of all foie-gras production. Dropping Soulard is one thing, but dumping all foie-gras is the only ethical response.
Please ban this very unBritish cruelty from your restaurants.”
[Don't forget to include you name and address!]
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