RSPCA Joins PETA In Coalition Calling For Fortnum's To Be Stripped Of Royal Warrants
London – A coalition of the leading UK animal-protection organisations – including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Compassion in World Farming, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Animal Aid, OneKind, Humane Society International, Viva!, Four Paws, Animal Defenders International and PETA – has called for Fortnum & Mason to be stripped of its two Royal Warrants on the grounds that its sale of foie gras goes against the Royal Warrant Holders Association's sustainability guidelines, which state that all suppliers should be "Red Tractor certified [at] minimum".
Foie gras production is so cruel that it's illegal in the UK. Although the Red Tractor scheme certifies only British farms, its criteria for poultry state that all animals must be "free from ... discomfort; from pain, injury or disease", standards that are incompatible with the production of foie gras.
Fortnum & Mason is also failing to promote "RSPCA freedom foods or equivalent assurances", highlighted in the Royal Warrant Holders Association's guidelines. In fact, foie gras production violates every one of the five freedoms.
An 88-page report issued by the European Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare, titled "Welfare Aspects of the Production of Foie Gras in Ducks and Geese", concluded that "force feeding, as currently practised, is detrimental to the welfare of birds".
"It's completely obvious to anyone who watches PETA's harrowing footage of injured birds being force-fed – while they are struggling to breathe because their enlarged livers are pressing against their lungs – that foie gras production doesn't meet the very basic Red Tractor standards of animal welfare", says PETA's Mimi Bekhechi. "Fortnum & Mason should either be made to give up its Royal Warrants or do the responsible thing and stop peddling this torture in a tin."
To produce the foie gras sold at Fortnum & Mason, geese are force-fed several times a day until their livers become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size.
High-profile people who are backing PETA's call for Fortnum & Mason to stop selling foie gras include Ralph Fiennes, Pamela Anderson, Zac Goldsmith MP, Dame Vera Lynn and Sir Roger Moore, who narrated PETA's video exposé of foie gras farms which supply Fortnum & Mason's foie gras distributor.