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Dowager Duchess Of Hamilton Appeals To Fellow Scot To Dump 'Un-British' Foie Gras From Queen's Grocer

For Immediate Release:

19 July 2013

Contact:

Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk

Edinburgh – This morning, Scotland resident Duchess Kay Hamilton, on behalf of her friends at PETA, sent a letter to Fortnum & Mason CEO and Fife native Ewan Venters urging him to stop the selling of foie gras by Fortnum & Mason, which is made from the diseased and grossly enlarged livers of force-fed ducks and geese. In the letter, Lady Hamilton points out that amongst the horrific findings of abuse during PETA's undercover investigation of one of the goose farms in France where Fortnum's supplier obtains its foie gras, birds' throats were cut open during slaughter without prior stunning, which is illegal in both the UK and France. Lady Hamilton has tried to discuss the matter with Venters personally, to no avail and is hoping a public appeal from one Scot to another might prove more fruitful.

"I had hoped sincerely to discuss this matter with you 'one Scot to another' on the phone or over a cup of tea during your next visit to Edinburgh", Lady Hamilton writes. "Don't you see that by continuing to sell foie gras, Fortnum & Mason is not championing freedom of choice? No, it is simply illustrating that the store, under your leadership, is out of touch with the public's concern for animal welfare. Please stop tarnishing the reputation of what was once – and still could be – Britain's finest department store and rid Fortnum & Mason's shelves and menus of vile and un-British foie gras."

Foie gras production – during which birds are force-fed huge quantities of grain and fat through metal pipes pushed down their throats – is so cruel that it's banned in the UK as well as in 16 other countries. Animal-protection groups – including OneKind, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Compassion in World Farming, Animal Defenders International, Animal Aid, Viva!, Four Paws and Save Me – have also joined PETA in calling on Fortnum & Mason to stop selling foie gras.

Lady Hamilton has worked with PETA before in successfully persuading Selfridges, the BAFTAs and Lord's Cricket Ground to ban foie gras. She and her late husband once hosted a Christmas lunch for PETA at their home in Scotland, but instead of serving turkey as the main course, the couple's rescued turkeys attended the affair as the guests of honour, and vegan Tofurky – with all the trimmings – was served.

The Duchess of Hamilton's letter to Fortnum & Mason CEO Ewan Venters follows. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.

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