Selfridges Pressured Over Foie Gras Sales

For Immediate Release:
23 April 2008

Bruce Friedrich  020 7357 9229, ext 224
Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229

London – A newly formed coalition of animal protection groups – including PETA, Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International, Animal Aid, Viva! and WSPA – have signed a letter calling on department-store chain Selfridges to follow the good example of Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and every other grocery chain in the UK and stop selling foie gras. The move comes just weeks after Selfridges broke a promise it made to stock an “ethical” alternative to foie gras.

To create foie gras – French for “fatty liver” – up to 4 pounds of a grain, maize and fat mixture is pumped into the stomachs of ducks and geese through a pipe two or three times a day. As the birds’ livers expand to about 10 times their normal size, the animals often find themselves unable to walk, and some move by pushing themselves along with their wings. The pipes sometimes puncture the birds’ throats, which often causes them to bleed to death. Death rates during force-feeding are as much as 1,000 to 2,000 per cent higher than normal.

This month, the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton announced that they would boycott Selfridges until the company stops selling foie gras. Two-thirds of Britons polled believe that foie gras sales should be banned, and its production has been prohibited in 15 countries, including Britain. Sir John Gielgud was the voice behind PETA’s campaign, which is now being led by Sir Roger Moore.

The group’s letter details the scientific consensus that foie gras production is cruel and concludes, “foie gras production has no place in an ethical society, and foie gras sales have no place in an ethical store”.

A copy of the coalition’s letter to Selfridges is available upon request. For more information, please visit