Toni Shephard, the Executive Director of Animal Equality UK has said that foie gras “is one of the cruellest food items” people can eat and that it is “hypocritical” the UK continues to import it, whilst its production is banned.
The art gallery Tate Modern has changed its menu to remove foie gras, the production of which is currently banned in the UK.
Ms Shephard told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “It creeps in at Christmas. It is such an odd contradiction that it is seen as this luxury product, something to treat yourself with at Christmas time, when it is one of the cruellest food items that you can eat. It is hardly a festive food.”
“I think the real issue in Britain is that we have banned its production and we have already decided that force-feeding animals to produce a food is unacceptably cruel,” she added.
“So it is just hypocritical that we still allow 200 tonnes of it to be imported into the UK every year.
“It is affecting almost quarter of a million ducks and geese every year so if were to ban its import that would be a lot of animals that would be spared from this extreme suffering.”
Brexit is 'an opportunity'
Ms Shephard described Brexit as an “opportunity” for changes in the import rules.
“Brexit provides an opportunity for this because while we are in the single market it is a lot more difficult to stop products coming from the continent,” she said.
“When we leave it will be up to us and if we don’t want to have it then we can impose an import ban.
“The World Trade Organisation rules would not prevent that because some countries have that ban already.
“In the meantime, we will keep working on the individual establishments that are selling it.
“That is something that we can do right now and try and get businesses to stop serving foie gras.”