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May 10, 2012

Sir Roger Moore Slams UK Involvement in China’s Cruel Foie Gras Industry

Humane Society International/UK

  • Sign our petition to help end foie gras production. Jan van der Hoeven/Shutterstock

by Mark Jones

Sir Roger Moore has given his backing to calls by Humane Society International/UK and Compassion in World Farming for British firm Creek Projects Investments PLC to withdraw its plans to fund a massive foie gras factory farm in China.

Sir Roger Moore said:

"Foie gras is sold as a luxury product but there is nothing luxurious about animal cruelty. Force-feeding geese massive quantities of food by ramming a metal tube down their throat until their livers become obese, is quite rightly banned in Britain. So I am utterly appalled that a British company is funding this cruelty in China and I urge it to withdraw immediately. I also urge the Chinese authorities to show compassion and kindness by shutting down foie gras production in China altogether. In a modern society, there is no place for this extreme animal cruelty."

Sir Roger’s words place further pressure on Creek Projects to abandon its investment plans, and come just as the company has announced it will suspend the project so that a full review can be conducted. HSI UK’s veterinary and farm animal experts will make themselves available to ensure the review takes full account of the detrimental impact on animal welfare and the environment.

Foie gras production is an intensive farming practice that is widely condemned for being cruel. Animal protection laws effectively prohibit the practice throughout much of Europe including the UK, in addition to specific bans in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, the UK, most Austrian provinces, Turkey, Israel and the US state of California. The EU’s Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare (SCAHAW) concluded in 1998 that “force feeding, as currently practised, is detrimental to the welfare of the birds”, whilst the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) stated in 2002 that the production of fatty liver for foie gras “raises serious animal welfare issues and it is not a practice that is condoned by FAO.”

Recent video footage taken inside one of China’s foie gras factory farms shows the sort of suffering these geese can be subjected to. The video, taken by Four Paws International, shows geese in battery cages being restrained with iron clamps whilst a feeding tube is inserted into their throat and boiled maize pumped directly into their stomach using a pneumatic hydraulic system.

Gabriel Paun, Director of Campaigns at Four Paws International, said:

“This barbaric practice has been banned in many countries around the world and would not be permitted on a farm in the UK. As a British company, we urge Creek Project Investments to uphold basic ethical standards and pull out of this project immediately.”

Mark Jones is executive director of Humane Society International/UK.

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