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Thursday 20th December 2012 | 10:32
PETA press release
London - Christmas has come early for ducks and geese with the news that the House of Lords' restaurants will go foie gras-free following an appeal by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that was backed by compassionate peers. The news follows a recent outcry over reports that the Barry Room restaurant was serving the vile food product, which is produced by force-feeding birds until their livers swell up to 10 times their normal size.
In the appeal to the House of Lords Head of Catering and Retail, PETA pointed out that it is indefensible for the House of Lords to be serving a dish that is illegal to produce in the UK. Lord Kennedy of Southwark immediately backed PETA's campaign by putting a question down to the Chair of Committees asking for foie gras to be taken off the menu, while Baroness Young of Hornsey responded by saying, "Just as we do not tolerate cruelty to dogs or cats, so we should reject inflicting pain and suffering on birds".
In order to produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed several times a day via a pipe that is rammed down their throats. The pipes sometimes puncture the birds' throats, and many animals suffer from ruptured internal organs, fungal and bacterial infections and liver failure. The scientific consensus is absolutely clear - there is no humane way to produce foie gras, which is why its production is prohibited in Britain under The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007.
Opinion polls have shown that two-thirds of the British public support a complete ban on the sale of foie gras in the UK, and countless high-profile British venues - including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Wimbledon, Lord's Cricket Ground and Harvey Nichols - have banned foie gras from their menus after hearing from PETA. His Royal Highness Prince Charles also refuses to allow foie gras to be served at any of his residences.
"We are delighted that the House of Lords will join the House of Commons in taking a stand against cruelty and removing this most un-British of products from its menus" says PETA Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi.
PETA's call was supported by Lord Alton of Liverpool, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, Lord Kennedy of Southwark, Lord King of West Bromwich, Lord Knight of Weymouth, Baroness Smith of Basildon, the Earl of Listowel, The Baroness Scott of Needham Market, Lord Lee of Trafford and Lord Young of Norwood Green.