12th January 2007
Viva! Urges Bristol to Go ?Foie-gras? Free
Bristol-based campaigning animal group Viva! is urging Bristolians to boycott establishments serving foie-gras, after it emerged that several eateries in the city were serving this ?torture in a tin?. Viva! has written to several local establishments ? including the Glassboat in Welshback and the Hotel du Vin in Narrow Lewins Mead ? urging them to immediately drop foie-gras from their menus*.
Foie-gras is produced by force feeding ducks or geese large amounts of food so that their livers swell to up to 10 times the normal size. A pipe is shoved down the bird's oesophagus and food is forced into the stomach. The process is repeated two or three times daily for two to three weeks until the birds develop fatty liver disease. The birds are then slaughtered. 90 per cent of birds used in foie-gras production are ducks.
Foie-gras is not produced in Britain, as the government has made it clear that its production would contravene existing animal welfare regulations. However, it is legal to import it. Its production has also been outlawed in Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Israel.
In 2004, Viva! successfully campaigned in California to pass legislation outlawing both the production and selling of foie-gras. Viva!?s long running campaign against the factory farming of ducks has also ended the debeaking of ducks raised for meat. Most recently, Viva! persuaded supermarket chain Lidl to cease the sale of foie-gras before Christmas ? and Waitrose have credited Viva! for their decision to allow their own-label ducks access to water for swimming.
?Foie-gras is torture in a tin?, says Viva! Campaigns Manager Justin Kerswell. ?There is nothing humane about mechanically inducing disease in a bird by forcing a pipe down its throat and making it consume such an abnormal quantity of food that its liver expands many times its normal size. This is barbarism disguised as a delicacy. We are asking local people to reject it and make Bristol a foie-gras free zone. Of course, eating any animal causes suffering ? the best way of stopping cruelty is to go vegetarian.?
Notes for Editors
* Foie-gras and duck confit terrine with red wine poached pear and toasted brioche http://www.glassboat.co.uk/dinnerstarters.htm
Corn fed chicken breast with seared foie-gras and truffles
For more information on Viva!?s campaign against the factory farming of ducks or undercover investigations, contact Justin Kerswell or Tony Wardle on 0117 944 1000 or 07862 173377, email email@example.com, or visit http://www.viva.org.uk/ducks