'Torture in a tin' foie gras is set to be banned in post-Brexit move

‘Torture in a tin’ foie gras is set to be banned in post-Brexit move that should delight anti-cruelty campaigners

  • Now Britain is set to ban the import of foie gras in a post-Brexit move 
  • British farmers are already banned from producing the expensive pâté
  • Lord Goldsmith, the Animal Welfare Minister, is determined to implement ban

To animal welfare activists, it’s ‘torture in a tin’; to gourmets – or at least some of them – it’s a delicious delicacy.

Now Britain is set to ban the import of foie gras in a post-Brexit move that should delight anti-cruelty campaigners.

British farmers are already banned from producing the expensive pâté, which is made by force-feeding ducks or geese until their liver swells to ten times the normal volume. But shops and restaurants can currently continue to import it under rules still in force from the UK’s membership of the EU.

The controversial food product is considered unethical by animal welfare groups as it is created by force-feeding geese or ducks with excessive amounts of grain and fat

However, Ministers are now poised to take advantage of Brexit by blocking imports. Sources said yesterday that Lord Goldsmith, the Animal Welfare Minister, is determined to implement the ban ‘in the next few months’.

Last month, he congratulated Fortnum & Mason after the Queen’s grocer announced that it would no longer stock the delicacy, usually sold as a pâté or mousse made from the enlarged livers. At the time, Lord Goldsmith tweeted: ‘Foie gras is unbearably barbaric. It’s hard to imagine anyone could watch the process and still enjoy eating it.’

The decision by the store, based in Piccadilly, Central London, followed a long campaign spearheaded by celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Twiggy and Ricky Gervais.

Fortnum & Mason (store pictured) based in Piccadilly, London, has stopped purchasing the controversial food product as part of a decision made last year

The Environment Secretary George Eustice hinted three years ago that an import ban could come once the UK had fully left the EU’s single market. Tory MP Henry Smith had urged him to act, describing foie gras as ‘cruel to produce’ and ‘unhealthy to eat’. Last night, a spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it had always been clear that foie gras production ‘raises serious concerns’.

He added: ‘Now our future relationship with the EU has been established, the Government is considering further steps it could take in relation to foie gras.’

France is by far the largest producer and consumer of the delicacy.

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