Victory! Fortnum & Mason Bans Foie Gras After Decade-Long Push

Posted by on February 10, 2021 | Permalink

We have excellent news for ducks and geese! Following our decade-long campaign, high-end department store Fortnum & Mason has made the decision to stop selling cruelly produced foie gras.

Although it took far too long, we’re thrilled that the penny finally dropped and Fortnum & Mason is joining the extensive list of iconic British institutions to reject this torture in a tin.

Ten Years of Campaigning

The campaign kicked off 10 years ago to the day, after a meeting with then-CEO Beverley Aspinall, during which she refused to rid Fortnum &Mason’s shelves of the vile product.

It involved tens of thousands of letters, ads in the London Underground, and countless colourful protests, including ones in which a giant “goose” crashed the Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee street party and a “crime scene” was set up around the perimeter of the shop with chalk outlines of dead geese.

PETA staff members – including founder Ingrid Newkirk – were also “force-fed” outside the entrance of the Queen’s grocer, birder Bill Oddie made a cameo as “Santa” (with a bag of coal in hand) and one woman went as far as to change her name to in an effort to spread the message.

Sir Roger Moore and Dame Vera Lynn Were by Our Side

The campaign was supported by the late Sir Roger Moore and more than a dozen other celebrities, including the late Dame Vera Lynn, Twiggy, Ricky Gervais, Ralph Fiennes, and politicians Zac Goldsmith, Caroline Lucas, and Kerry McCarthy. The Duchess of Hamilton even publically returned a Christmas gift she’d received from Fortnum & Mason, stating in her letter, “Until you [end foie gras sales], I will regrettably be unable to shop at Fortnum and Mason.”

Cruelty Exposed

In 2012, we released eyewitness video footage recorded at the farms of several of Fortnum & Mason’s foie gras suppliers revealing geese who struggled to stand and even breathe as a result of the force-feeding.

What Is Foie Gras and How Is It Made?

To produce foie gras, workers grab ducks and geese by the neck, shove metal pipes down their throats, and pump massive amounts of grain and fat into their stomachs several times a day in a barbaric process known as “gavage”.

Imagine being forced to eat 20 kilograms of pasta each day. That’s the human equivalent of the nearly 2 kilograms of food that’s typically forced down birds’ throats every single day at these farms.

PETA exposés have revealed that the feeding pipes leave some birds so badly injured that they have holes in their necks.

This process is so cruel that EU’s Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare recommends “that force-feeding of ducks and geese should stop and this could be best achieved by the prohibition of the production, importation, distribution and sale of foie gras.”

What You Can Do for Birds

It’s illegal to force-feed birds in the UK, and yet, it’s still perfectly legal for a product of force-feeding to be sold here. Sign our petition to urge the government to uphold the UK’s animal welfare standards by banning the importation and sale of foie gras: