Media Centre

PETA Unfurls 'F&M: Don't Be A …' Banner Under Trafalgar Square's Big Blue Cock

For Immediate Release:

1 October 2013


Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229;

A photo of the event is available here.

London – On Tuesday, PETA members drew even more attention to Katharina Fritsch's 4.72-metre-high Hahn/Cock – also known as "the big blue cock" – standing proudly on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. The group unfurled a giant banner below the statue that read, "F&M: Don't Be a [Up Arrow] – Drop Foie Gras", in an effort to continue to pressure Fortnum & Mason to stop selling foie gras.

"Ignoring the widespread call to stop selling the diseased livers of abused birds is a huge cock-up", says PETA Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. "Fortnum & Mason's stubborn insistence on selling a product which is illegal to produce in Britain is tantamount to giving Parliament and the British public the bird."

To create foie gras, pipes are shoved down ducks' and geese's throats and huge amounts of grain and fat are pumped into their stomachs several times a day. The birds' livers become diseased as they swell to up to 10 times their normal size. The pipes often puncture their throats and can cause them to bleed to death. Those who survive are hung upside down and slaughtered.

Virtually all department stores and supermarkets – including Selfridges, House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols – have removed foie gras from their shelves. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the BRIT Awards, Wimbledon, Lord's Cricket Ground and the Royal Shakespeare Company have all pledged not to serve or sell foie gras, and Prince Charles refuses to allow it on Royal menus. A number of prominent people – including Sir Roger Moore, Twiggy, Ricky Gervais, Kate Winslet and Tamara Ecclestone – have teamed up with PETA to speak out against the vile product, which is illegal to produce in the UK and 16 other countries.

For more information, please visit