Selfridges Shoppers Get An Easter Treat: Giant Duck-Shaped Balloons With Anti-Foie Gras Message

For Immediate Release:
8 April 2009

Anna Sargent 020 7357 9229, ext 228; 07921 871 019; [email protected]

London – A “duck” and her friends from PETA will distribute huge balloons printed with the slogan “Selfridges: Stop Selling Cruel Foie Gras” to children, parents and other visitors outside Selfridges’ flagship Oxford Street store this Thursday. PETA’s balloon bonanza, which coincides with Selfridges’ Easter celebration, is part of the group’s effort to convince the company to follow the example of Waitrose, House of Fraser, Sainsbury’s and all the other British grocery chains that refuse to sell or stock foie gras:

Date: Thursday, 9 April
Time: 10 am sharp
Location: Outside Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, London

To create foie gras – which is French for “fatty liver” – up to 2 kilograms of a grain, maize and fat mash is pumped into the stomachs of ducks and geese through a pipe two or three times a day. (That’s roughly the equivalent of forcing a human to eat 20 kilograms of pasta per day.) As the birds’ livers expand to up to 10 times their normal size, the animals become sick, and many become unable to move. The pipes sometimes puncture the birds’ throats, causing them to bleed to death, and their internal organs sometimes rupture. Death rates during force-feeding are as much as 1,000 to 2,000 per cent greater than those of birds who are raised for other purposes.

Polls show that nearly two-thirds of Britons believe that foie gras sales should be banned. Sir John Gielgud was the original voice behind PETA Europe’s campaign against foie gras. Sir Roger Moore, who has now assumed that role, has narrated this graphic video showing the cruelty of foie gras production.

“Considering most Britons believe that foie gras should be banned, and knowing it’s illegal to produce foie gras in the UK, it is shocking that Selfridges still refuses to stop selling it”, says PETA Europe Director Robbie LeBlanc. “Easter would be the perfect time for Selfridges to show a little kindness and mercy to ducks.”

For more information, please visit