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

 

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

London – One of PETA’s biggest and longest-running campaigns has finally concluded with a major win for ducks and geese: high-end department store Fortnum & Mason just announced it will stop selling cruelly produced foie gras – the “fatty liver” pâté that’s made by shoving metal pipes down the throats of ducks and geese and pumping grain into their stomachs until their livers become diseased.

PETA’s campaign began exactly 10 years ago after a meeting with then-CEO Beverley Aspinall, who refused to remove the “torture in a tin” from the store’s shelves. Subsequent actions involved tens of thousands of letters, ads in the London Underground, and countless colourful protests, including one in which a giant “goose” crashed the Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee street party and another in which 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 so far as to change her name to StopFortnumAndMasonFoieGrasCruelty.com.

In addition, PETA released eyewitness video footage recorded at the farms of several of Fortnum & Mason’s foie gras suppliers revealing geese who were unable to stand and struggling to breathe as a result of force-feeding. 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.

“My late husband, Sir Roger Moore, was a staunch advocate for animal rights, and foie gras production was one of the many issues he took a stand against,” says Lady Kristina Moore. “For years, he joined PETA in urging Fortnum & Mason to stop selling this product of horrific cruelty. I know he would have been delighted to hear that the retailer has finally made the compassionate decision to remove foie gras from its shelves.”

“From boardroom meetings to being force-fed outside the doors of the famous store by Steven Berkoff, our campaigning activities ran the gamut,” says PETA Vice President Mimi Bekhechi. “Although it took far too long, we’re thrilled that the penny has finally dropped and Fortnum & Mason is joining the extensive list of iconic British institutions that reject this ‘torture in a tin’.”

To produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed several times a day until their livers become diseased and swollen. By the end of their lives, many birds have trouble breathing because their enlarged livers compress their lungs, which is why the 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”.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” – is calling on the government to take action to protect birds from farming practices that would be illegal here by banning the importation and sale of foie gras in the UK.

High-resolution images are available here. For more information, including a full history of the campaign against Fortnum & Mason, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Contact:
Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]

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