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Foie gras: our letter to representatives of the UK government to ban this cruel product

We have sent a letter to representatives of the UK government asking for a definitive ban on forced feeding, the practice used to produce foie gras.
September 2, 2021

We have sent a letter to UK cabinet ministers asking for a definitive ban on forced feeding, the practice used to produce foie gras.

Animal Equality has worked worldwide to ban foie gras, a food considered a “luxury,” but which actually hides extreme animal cruelty. To obtain foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed–but what does this practice mean?

Ducks and geese are restrained and a metal tube is inserted down their throats through which they are gorged with large quantities of feed. This daily practice fattens the liver until it nearly explodes, so much so that at the time of slaughter it can weigh up to 10 times as much as the liver of a healthy animal.

More progress to come in the UK?

In the United Kingdom the production of foie gras is already prohibited, but despite this, companies like supermarkets or restaurants are still permitted to import it from abroad; nearly 220 tons of foie gras are still imported each year across the country.

The UK has already pioneered several animal protection laws and a few months ago came out in favor of a possible ban on force-feeding. For this reason, we believe that reaching a definitive ban is possible and have written a letter to UK cabinet ministers asking for a clear stance against force-feeding and the importation of foie gras.

Read the letter:

Rt Hon George Eustice MP
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
House of Commons

Date: Wednesday 1st September 2021

Dear George Eustice MP and Lord Goldsmith,

Many legislators, politicians, and activists worldwide look to the United Kingdom’s laws as a shining example of a progressive society in many ways. The political institutions of the United Kingdom have a long history of far-reaching progress, and it is well known that these breakthroughs have inspired thousands others to achieve similar results in their own countries. Each step of progress made in the UK is, sooner or later, progress for all.

The protection of animals is no exception. It was 1822, almost two centuries ago, when the British Parliament passed one of the first animal protection laws, the “Act to Prevent the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle.” Many other important legislative bills have since followed suit, like the first Cruelty to Animal Act in 1835, the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1876, and most recently, the Animal Welfare act of 2006. On paper, the UK is often viewed as a pioneer for animals.

That’s why we are pleased to see that Defra’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare states that you are ‘exploring a ban on the sale of foie gras’ and that, as many around the globe await this critical ban, the Animal Sentience Bill has been introduced to Parliament – recognising animals as the thinking, feeling beings that they are. If the UK is to continue being recognised as a world-leader in animal welfare legislation, it simply cannot continue to financially support torturous practices such as force-feeding ducks and geese to produce foie gras – practices known to inflict scientifically undeniable anguish and pain on the sentient animals involved. This hypocrisy must end.

We, the undersigned, add our support and the support of the international communities that we represent to the more than 225,000 British citizens urging you to ban this cruel product from entering your shores.

This long-awaited ban needs your immediate attention. We’re counting on you to secure this landmark achievement for animals as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Sharon Núñez – President of Animal Equality International
Jose Valle – Executive Vice-President of Animal Equality
Matteo Cupi – Vice-President of Animal Equality Europe
and Interim Executive Director of Animal Equality Germany
Carla Littieri – Executive Director of Animal Equality Brasil
Silvia Barquero – Executive Director of Igualdad Animal España
Amey Deshmukh – Executive Director of Animal Equality India
Alice Trombetta – Executive Director of Animal Equality Italia
Dulce Ramírez – Executive Director of Igualdad Animal México


The two representatives of the institutions we addressed – George Eustice, UK Secretary of State for the Environment and Lord Goldsmith, UK Minister for Animal Welfare – have recently spoken out on the issue.

George Eustice has released statements that don’t commit to a ban, while Lord Goldsmith is in favor of banning foie gras “in the coming months.”

Animal Equality, together with our colleagues in the United Kingdom, are determined to not let the government continue to stall on this urgent issue.

In the last two years, Animal Equality has collected the signatures of more than 225,000 citizens who want to see an end to this cruelty.

A UK ban on the import of force-fed products would send a strong message to the industry and institutions in other countries: we can no longer allow cruelty like this to continue.

We wouldn’t have reached this decisive moment without the incredible work of the animal advocates who work with policymakers every day. Please help us continue this critical life changing work by making a donation to support our undercover investigations, public outreach campaigns, and legal advocacy.

United Kingdom

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