Selfridges Centenary Interrupted By Protest Against Foie Gras Sales

For Immediate Release:
11 March 2009

Contact (Photographs Available):
Anna Sargent 020 7357 9229, ext 228; 0792 187 1019; [email protected]

London – PETA Europe’s campaign to draw the public’s attention to Selfridges’ sale of foie gras, a cruel “delicacy” which is illegal to produce in Britain, is escalating. This evening, as the department-store chain prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the flagship Oxford Street store will be illuminated with a giant projection of a bird being held by the throat to be force-fed along with the message “Selfridges: Stop Selling Foie Gras From Force-Fed Birds – PETA”.

To create foie gras (French for “fatty liver”), workers use pipes to pump approximately four pounds of a mixture of grain, maize and fat into the stomachs of ducks and geese several times per day. In human terms, that would be the equivalent of roughly 20kg of pasta. The birds’ livers become distended – up to 10 times their normal size – and the animals become sick, often unable to move. The pipes sometimes puncture the birds’ throats, causing bloody wounds. Death rates among birds who endure force-feeding are as much as 1,000 to 2,000 per cent higher than among those who are not force-fed.

Foie gras production is banned in the UK and more than a dozen other countries, and more than 60 per cent of Britons believe that foie gras sales in the UK should also be banned. Not one supermarket in the UK will sell foie gras. It has been taken off the shelves of House of Fraser, Prince Charles has banned it from Royal menus, the Pope has denounced it as cruel and Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter, Tamara, has asked that it be removed from Formula One racing events. Since the death of Sir John Gielgud, PETA Europe’s campaign against foie gras has been led by Sir Roger Moore, who stepped in to narrate a new version of PETA’s graphic video showing the cruelty of foie gras production.

“Selfridges may be celebrating its 100th birthday, but the ducks and geese who die for the foie gras sold at Selfridges are abused by having pipes shoved down their throats in their very first few months of life”, says PETA Europe Director Robbie LeBlanc. “Businesses throughout the UK have rejected selling foie gras out of concern for the birds’ abuse, so when will Selfridges follow suit?”

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