Will Thérèse Coffey Accept PETA’s Force-Feeding Challenge?

Will Thérèse Coffey Accept PETA’s Force-Feeding Challenge?

London – Never afraid to ruffle a few feathers, PETA sent 20 kilos of rice and a funnel to environment secretary Thérèse Coffey, challenging her in an accompanying letter to get a taste of what foie gras production feels like for ducks and geese, following Coffey’s suggestion that a government ban on importing foie gras is “not a priority”.

“Twenty kilos of rice is the human equivalent of the amount of grain shoved down the throats of birds every day on foie gras farms,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “If Thérèse Coffey doesn’t find it fowl to import diseased bird livers, then surely, she can stomach PETA’s force-feeding challenge.”

Producing foie gras is already banned in the UK, but approximately 200 tons of the cruelly made product is imported into the country each year. Last week, multiple celebrities – including Miriam Margolyes, Alesha Dixon, Mark Rylance, and Jo Brand – co-signed a letter to Rishi Sunak demanding an end to UK imports of foie gras, referring to it as “torture in a tin”.

“The government has been ‘exploring’ a ban for years, and ministers stated in 2021 that such legislation would be introduced ‘in the next few months’,” the letter, coordinated by Animal Equality UK and PETA, says. “Yet here we are, in 2023, with no legislation in sight, while birds continue to suffer and die. We must end the UK’s complicity in this appalling trade.”

During foie gras production, 2 kilos of grain is pumped into birds’ stomachs daily through metal tubes thrust down their throats, causing their livers to swell to 10 times their natural size before they are killed. Investigations into farms in Europe have revealed sick, dying, and dead animals, some with broken beaks and wings and holes in their necks from force-feeding. Their engorged livers press against other organs, including the lungs, which causes them to pant constantly. The birds are often left to languish in cramped metal cages or pens, coated in dirt and vomit and covered in sores.

PETA’s letter to Coffey is available upon request. PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


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