Tamara Ecclestone Gets Mercedes, Virgin And Other F1 Sponsors To Bar Foie Gras From The Paddock

For Immediate Release:
28 February 2010

Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – Accomplished and attractive heiress Tamara Ecclestone – the daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone – isn’t letting any grass grow under her feet in her new role as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) ambassador in the campaign to get Formula 1 sponsors to put the brakes on serving foie gras at their events.

Ecclestone recently fired off letters to all Formula 1 team sponsors and has heard back in record time from Virgin Racing, Toro Rosso, Red Bull Racing, Allianz SE and Michael Schumacher’s team, Mercedes GP – all of whom have agreed not to serve foie gras at their events. After reading about how ducks and geese are cruelly treated in foie gras production, engine-maker Cosworth has also assured Ecclestone that it will never serve foie gras again. Sir Roger Moore has congratulated Tamara Ecclestone on her work.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be an ambassador for PETA’s campaign to stop the sale of foie gras – something I call ‘torture in a tin’ because of how ducks and geese are force-fed to produce it”, says Ecclestone. “I’m working my way through my list of all the Formula 1 teams and sponsors, asking them to pledge that they will not serve this horrifically cruel food at any of their events. As soon as the new season gets underway, I’ll be dashing around the paddock having a word with any teams or sponsors that haven’t gotten back to me yet and blowing kisses to those who are ‘on track’!”

To make foie gras – French for “fatty liver” – workers use metal pipes to pump approximately 2 kilograms of a mixture of grain, maize and fat into the stomachs of ducks and geese several times per day. In human terms, that would be the equivalent of being forced to eat roughly 20 kilograms of pasta. As a result, birds’ livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size, and the animals become sick and are often unable to move. The pipes often puncture birds’ throats, causing bloody wounds. Death rates among birds who endure force-feeding are as much as 1,000 to 2,000 per cent higher than among those who are not force-fed.

Foie gras production is prohibited in the UK and more than a dozen other countries, and more than 60 per cent of Britons believe that foie gras sales in the UK should also be banned. Foie gras is not sold in any UK supermarkets and has been taken off the shelves at Selfridges and House of Fraser. Prince Charles has banned foie gras from royal menus, and Pope Benedict has denounced the production of foie gras as cruel. Sir John Gielgud narrated a PETA video that included footage taken by an undercover investigator working at a US foie gras farm. After Sir John’s death, Sir Roger Moore stepped in to narrate a new version of PETA’s graphic video showing the cruelty of foie gras production.

Tamara also revealed the naked truth about the cruelty of foie gras production when she posed nude for a PETA ad last year. The ad was shot by ace photographer Karl Grant, and a copy of the ad is attached for your use.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.