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July 7, 2014

India Foie Gras Import Ban Applauded

Indian Government bans import following Animal Equality’s appeal

Humane Society International/India

  • Jan van der Hoeven/Shutterstock

Humane Society International/India welcomed the Indian government’s landmark decision to ban the import of ‘Foie Gras’ in India. The ban notification was issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade as a result of a two year campaign by animal protection organization, Animal Equality.  The following is a statement from N.G Jayasimha, managing director for HSI/India:

 “This is a triumph for animal welfare in India as well as across the globe, and sets a precedent for other countries to follow. Foie Gras is sold as a luxury item but its production results in an enormous amount of suffering to birds. Humane Society International/India applauds Animal Equality’s persistent efforts to end this form of extreme cruelty by persuading the Government to stop the import of foie gras in India. We urge consumers to immediately inform HSI/India if they see foie gras been served in any eatery.

The decision will give a precedent-setting boost to prevent animal abuse by prohibiting commercial trade of foie gras for public moral reasons based on animal welfare. India’s progressive stand on this issue will help to crack down the global trade in products of animal cruelty.”

Facts:

  • The production of foie gras involves force feeding ducks and geese enormous quantities of grain, usually through a rigid metal tube forced down their throat, so that their liver becomes excessively fatty and expands to an unnatural size.
  • Often marketed as ‘gourmet food’, Foie gras is imported to India from France, Spain and other countries. Animal Equality has been pushing for a ban on its import after the release of an investigation in on foie gras production in the EU.
  • Foie gras production is widely condemned for being cruel and more than a dozen governments have prohibited this intensive farming practice including the UK, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, the UK, most Austrian provinces, Turkey, Israel and the U.S. state of California.
  • A U.S. appellate court recently upheld California’s ban on the sale of foie gras. The court reasoned that California’s ban was a reasonable measure to prevent cruelty to animals.
  • Studies have shown that force feeding of birds for foie gras cause pain and injury to the animals. Walking and moving becomes increasingly uncomfortable and difficult as their livers enlarge, and force-feeding can also cause painful bruising, lacerations, sores or organ rupture. The birds can also suffer considerable fear and stress during repeated capture and handling.

Media Contact: HSI/India: Navamita Mukherjee, +919985472760, nmukherjee@hsi.org

People can report any foie gras issue by contacting Alokparna at asengupta@hsi.org

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