Media Centre

PETA Crashes Fortnum & Mason's St George's Day Event

For Immediate Release:

23 April 2013 

Contact:

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

London – Bodypainted in St George's flags and holding signs that read, "Foie Gras Is UnEnglish" and "If You ♥ England, Don't Shop at Fortnum's", PETA supporters were outside Fortnum & Mason this evening as the Piccadilly store served a St George's Day meal inside. Other PETA supporters distributed informational leaflets to prospective customers throughout the day. PETA's point? That while the store promotes itself as quintessentially English at every turn, the foie gras that it sells – made from the diseased and grossly enlarged livers of force-fed geese – is imported from France because its torturous production is banned in Britain.

"Marketing your wares on your English heritage and then selling a product that's illegal to produce in the UK because it's the result of animal abuse is both cruel and the height of hypocrisy", says PETA's Yvonne Taylor. "It's long past time for Fortnum & Mason to follow the examples of Selfridges and Harvey Nichols and to take foie gras off its shelves."

Birds raised for foie gras are force-fed huge amounts of grain three or four times every day via a metal pipe that is rammed down their throats. Their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size, resulting in a disease known as "hepatic steatosis". Foie gras production is banned in the UK and 16 other countries, which is why Fortnum & Mason shamefully pays French farmers to force-feed geese on its behalf before importing the diseased livers into the UK.

Foie gras has been condemned by Members of Parliament, Royalty and a growing number of British icons, including Dame Vera Lynn and Sir Roger Moore, who recently narrated PETA's investigative video of the foie gras farms in France from which Fortnum & Mason's distributor obtains foie gras.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.

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