Somerset House Is Foie Gras–Free, Organisers Tell PETA

For Immediate Release:

6 November 2014


Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]

Vile Product Is Not Allowed, Despite Christmas Partnership With Notorious Cruelty Peddler Fortnum & Mason

London – Kind-hearted skaters looking forward to the opening of the ice rink at Somerset House next week can rest easy: after hearing PETA’s concerns about how birds are violently force-fed to produce foie gras – a product that Sir Roger Moore calls “torture in a tin” – the arts and cultural centre confirmed to PETA that Somerset House is strictly foie grasfree.

“I can confirm that we do not allow foie gras to be supplied or served at Somerset House”, Director Jonathan Reekie wrote to PETA.

“We are delighted that after hearing from PETA, Somerset House confirmed that it is 100 per cent foie gras–free – a move which undoubtedly reflects the wish of the majority of the members of the public, who want to see the sale of this vile French product banned in the UK”, says PETA Senior Programmes Manager Yvonne Taylor. “We hope any entertainment venues still using foie gras, which is made by deliberately inflicting suffering and disease on birds, will now follow Somerset House’s example.”

Somerset House – whose ice rink opens on 11 November in partnership with Fortnum & Mason – joins a long list of events and establishments that have pledged not to serve or sell foie gras, including The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Brit Awards, Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground, the Port Eliot Festival, the Royal Shakespeare Company and both Houses of Parliament. After learning from PETA about the cruelty of foie gras production, both Selfridges and Harvey Nichols also pledged not to sell or serve it. Despite trading on its British heritage, Fortnum & Mason is one of the last remaining department stores which still clings to sales of foie gras, a product so vile that its production is banned in Britain.

A PETA undercover investigation into the farms in France from which Fortnum’s distributor obtains foie gras revealed that force-fed geese have knives plunged into their throats during slaughter without prior stunning. During foie gras production, huge amounts of grain and fat are pumped into the stomachs of geese through pipes that are rammed down their throats several times a day. Their distended livers press against their lungs, making breathing difficult and causing them to pant constantly. Veterinarians and avian experts agree – there is no humane way to produce foie gras.

High-profile people who are backing PETA’s anti–foie gras campaign include Ralph Fiennes, Ricky Gervais, Zac Goldsmith MP, Dame Vera Lynn, Steven Berkoff, Sir Roger Moore and Kate Winslet, who narrated PETA’s video exposé of foie gras production.

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