UK Cross-Party Politicians Call For Urgency Over Foie Gras Import Ban
‘While I remain cautiously optimistic about this historic legislation finally coming into place, it is critical that the Government now specifies a date and its concrete plans for a ban. This needs to be written into law urgently – these animals have suffered long enough’
Politicians from varying political parties today released an open letter urging UK government secretaries of state to outline a ‘concrete roadmap’ over the importation ban of foie gras.
It comes after thousands signed a petition to end it – as thousands of tonnes of it cross British shores each year.
Foie gras import ban
The letter urged Environment Secretary George Eustice and Animal Welfare Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith to outline exactly when and how the government plans to implement the ban.
Goldsmith has already deplored foie gras ‘unbearably barbaric’ via his Twitter account.
Moreover, the letter includes details of the ‘extreme suffering’ involved in the force-feeding production. Additionally, it outlined the ‘severe threat’ the intensive production poses to human health.
This follows the outbreaks of bird flu on foie gras farms across France. As a result, thousands of ducks were culled this year alone.
The Department For Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced the ban would be enacted over the next few months. But this led to skepticism among some politicians as the body hadn’t outlined a specific time frame.
As a result, a number of cross-party MPs joined forces with animal protection organization, Animal Equality, to pen the open letter and create a ‘concrete roadmap’.
Among the politicians who signed the call are Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, and Conservatives Henry Smith, David Amess, and Mike Penning.
Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse and Labour MP Hilary Benn are also part of the group. Additionally, SNP’s Lisa Cameron signed it, as well as others.
Cameron said: “Foie gras is an immensely cruel product which causes a huge amount of animal suffering. We cannot rightly think of ourselves as a nation of animal lovers whilst still selling foie gras. I am joining Animal Equality’s call to implement a ban on foie gras imports and sales as soon as possible.”
Is foie gras legal in the UK?
Force-feeding is currently illegal in the UK under the Animal Welfare Act. Despite this, around 200 tonnes of foie gras is imported each year.
Jenny Canham, of Animal Equality, says it has ‘no place in our society’.
She added: “While I remain cautiously optimistic about this historic legislation finally coming into place, it is critical that the government now specifies a date and its concrete plans for a ban. This needs to be written into law urgently – these animals have suffered long enough.”
Earlier this year, thousands signed a petition to ban sales of imported foie gras. Production and importation has been banned across several countries and cities on animal cruelty grounds – including in India and New York City.
You can sign the petition to ban force-feeding here
Additionally, you can read the full open letter here