LETTER: Cruelty behind this Christmas ‘delicacy’

AS Christmas comes around it is disappointing to see foie-gras creeping back onto a small minority of local festive menus.

Foie-gras is the grossly enlarged liver of a duck or goose and is essentially a disease, marketed as a delicacy. Birds raised for this ‘gourmet’ cruelty are force-fed enormous quantities of food through a long metal pipe, up to three times a day. This process of deliberate and painful overfeeding continues for up to a month by which time the birds’ livers have swelled to ten times their normal size. The birds can choke to death on their own vomit, or die after food is forced into their lungs.

Around 38 million male ducks and a million geese are force-fed and then killed each year in France. Add to that suffering the similar number of female ducks killed at a day or so old because they don’t put on weight as quickly as their brothers, often by being dropped alive into electric mincers.

Foie-gras is not produced in Britain, as the Government has made it clear that its production would contravene existing animal welfare regulations, but sadly it is still perfectly legal to import it. This makes a mockery of our welfare laws. As a country, we now import more foie-gras from France than Germany, Italy or Holland.

Local people have the power to end the sale of foie-gras buy not visiting establishments which sell this barbaric ‘delicacy’ and telling them why.

Of course, eating any animal causes suffering – the best way of stopping cruelty this Christmas is to go veggie.

For more information on how to and for free cruelty-free Christmas recipes, contact Viva! or visit www.viva.org.uk/foiegras.

Justin KERSWELL

Campaigns Manager

Viva!

8 York Court

Wilder Street

Bristol BS2 8QH