Dame Vera Bids to Ban "Cruel" Foie Gras

Published: 11/29/2011
Publication: The Daily Express

By Gilles Sheldrick

DAME Vera Lynn is so upset at the cruelty involved in producing foie gras that she is c­ampaigning for a ban on sales of it at Queen’s ­grocer Fortnum & Mason.

Last night her crusade got the backing of a host of celebrities, including Sir Roger Moore, Ricky Gervais, Twiggy, Bill Oddie, Peter Egan and Danielle Lineker.

In a strongly-worded letter to the famous London food store the wartime forces sweetheart said its reputation was being “tarnished” by stocking it.

Foie gras – French for fatty liver – involves force-feeding ducks and geese with tubes down their throats to fatten up their livers that bloat up to 10 times their normal size.

One animal welfare study in the US found that many birds died from ruptured organs and others ­suffered horrific ­injuries.

Its production is so inhumane that it has been banned in Britain and several European countries including Germany, Italy, Holland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, ­Switzerland and Denmark.

Yet retailers are free to import it from countries such as France where it is seen as a festive treat and tins of it are snapped up in the millions at this time of year.

In her letter, Dame Vera, 94, who became a national treasure with morale-boosting songs during the Second World War such as The White Cliffs Of Dover and We’ll Meet Again, wrote in her letter: “Britain has many things it can be proud of and I consider our respect for the welfare of animals to be one.

“I was most upset to learn that Fortnum & Mason stocks foie gras, a product so cruel that its production is not allowed in the UK and yet you continue to import it from France.

“There is no way to produce foie gras humanely and the force-feeding process is universally condemned by veterinarians, ­scientists and animal welfare groups. For a department store with such a proud British ­heritage it made me sad you would wish to tarnish it by ­associating yourself with force-feeding of animals.”

A spokeswoman for the ­Piccadilly grocer, founded in 1707, said yesterday it had no plans to stop selling the product. She said: “We are here to provide our customers with the products they ask for which includes foie gras.”

TV host Bill Oddie said foie gras ­production was “uncivilised” and sales of it were “shameful”.

Original article available at http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/286621/Dame-Vera-bids-to-ban-cruel-foie-gras

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