Fur Farming and Foie Gras Force-Feeding Banned by Flemish Government
Following pressure from PETA, Belgian animal rights group Gaia, Pamela Anderson, and Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare Ben Weyts, the Flemish government has announced that it’ll ban fur farming and the force-feeding of birds for foie gras in Flanders, Belgium, by 1 December 2023 at the latest. Fur farming has already been outlawed in the two other Belgian regions, Wallonia and Brussels-Capital.
Fur Faming in Flanders
In Flanders, 17 mink farms currently breed and kill approximately 200,000 animals annually for their fur.
Fur farming is a cruel process in which animals are kept in tiny wire cages for seven to eight months and denied all that’s natural and important to them, such as the opportunity to play, run, and raise a family. The stress of this extreme confinement often drives them insane, and fighting, self-mutilation, and cannibalism are common. At the end of their miserable lives, they face a horrific death – often by gassing, electrocution, or poisoning – so that their fur can be turned into frivolous garments or accessories.
Fur farming has been illegal in Britain for nearly two decades, but cruelly produced fur items are still sold here. While the ban on fur farming in Flanders will reduce the size of the fur industry, as long as pelts are still being imported from countries such as China, the UK will continue to contribute to horrific animal abuse.
What You Can Do
The Force-Feeding of Birds for Foie Gras in Flanders
To produce foie gras, which is marketed as a “luxury delicacy”, ducks and geese are subjected to an agonising fattening process. They’re typically kept in small individual cages and regularly and painfully force-fed – until their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size – before finally being killed.
Force-feeding for foie gras production was banned in Wallonia in 2015 and in Brussels-Capital in 2017, and the remaining foie gras farm in Flanders will soon close. Thanks to animal-welfare legislation, foie gras isn’t produced in the UK, but birds continue to suffer on foie gras farms in Bulgaria, France, Hungary, and Spain in part because of British demand for the vile pâté.
What You Can Do
If you purchase foie gras, you’re supporting shocking abuse of ducks and geese. Please choose one of the many tasty vegan pâtés that are available instead, and if you see foie gras on a menu, take action.