Viva! hit out at BBC for promoting cruel foie-gras on cookery show | Viva!

Viva! hit out at BBC for promoting cruel foie-gras on cookery show

Release date: 
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

THE BBC has received hundreds of complaints from angry viewers for allowing the controversial and cruel foie-gras to feature extensively in the latest BBC 2 series of The Great British Menu.

Animal group Viva! are leading a campaign calling on the corporation to take the ethical decision to make it policy that the 'delicacy' is not used on its cookery shows and not promoted via their websites.
At least four chefs have served up foie-gras during series 7 of the Great British Menu, including two on one episode aired last week.

This is despite foie-gras neither being British, nor legal to produce in this country.

Foie-gras is the grossly enlarged liver of a duck or goose and is essentially a disease, marketed as a delicacy. Birds raised for this 'gourmet' cruelty are force-fed enormous quantities of food through a long metal pipe, up to three times a day. This process of deliberate and painful overfeeding continues for up to a month by which time the birds' livers have swelled to ten times their normal size. Every year, around a million ducks die during this period of force-feeding.

• On Monday, April 9, Alan Murchinson prepared duck terrine containing foie-gras.
• Colin McGurran appeared on Monday, April 23, serving a foie-gras parfait.
• Most recently, on Monday, May 7, Johnnie Mountain made foie-gras ice cream and
• Aiden Byrne a black cherry and foie-gras terrine.

Viva! campaigns director, Justin Kerswell, says: “Despite offending hundreds of viewers and receiving many complaints over the matter during the last week, the BBC is currently refusing to stop promoting the product. They say they will continue to do so while it remains 'legal and freely available' - even though many major shops and restaurants across the country no longer do because it is considered so cruel.

“Isn't it ironic that the BBC's Great British Menu is supposed to be about celebrating the best of Britain but is doing so with the most un-British cruelty' People object to the fact that their licence fee is paying for chefs to use foie-gras. We want to encourage them to write to the BBC; boycott foie-gras and choose to eat a cruelty-free veggie diet instead.

To register a complaint with the BBC over this matter, calling 03700 100 222, or write to BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Darlington DL3 0UR.

Viva! can help you do this, also online, by visiting our campaign pages


For more information about this media release, contact press officer Helen Rossiter or Justin Kerswell by calling 0117 944 1000 emailing or

Visit for our campaign details.

Alan Murchison, Monday, April 9, Duck Terrine
Colin McGurran, Monday, April 23: Quail in the Woods (foie-gras parfait)
Johnnie Mountain, Monday, May 7, foie-gras ice cream and Aiden Byrne Black Cherry and Foie Gras Terrine

Foie-gras Great British Menu recipes published by BBC
Foie gras, smoked eel and potato terrine with a caramel marinade by Jason Atherton

Red mullet, salmon and foie gras 'mosaic' with courgette and bacon chutney by Elisha Carter

Quails in the Woods by Colin McGurran