A group of European lawmakers have joined an animal advocacy group to support a ban on the production and importation of foie gras across the European Union.
The group, Animal Equality, has been campaigning to stop the torture of ducks and geese that are still used in foie gras production in five countries, including Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Hungary and Spain, and was joined by eight MEPs at a conference last week supporting the ban.
“We want to help European consumers to open their eyes and ask the European Commission (for) a law” to ban not only the production but also the import and sale of foie gras, said MEP Andrea Zanoni in a statement.
The move to support a ban was prompted by bid by French producers to defend foie gras at the European parliament. French MEP Francoise Castex is reportedly unimpressed with California’s ban on foie gras that went into effect on July 1 and called it a “battle for Europe,” at a conference.
A ban is also opposed by Guillaume Garot, the French minister for the agri-food industry, who said that the French are doing all they can to improve animal welfare.
Unfortunately, the process of force-feeding birds large quantities of grain by shoving a tube down their esophagus’ and causing their livers to grow up to ten times their normal size will never be humane. California had years to find an alternative before the ban, but couldn’t come up with anything.
The practice has already been banned in Argentina, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, Turkey, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
A recent investigation of French facilities conducted by Animal Equality found birds kept in extreme confinement, blood stains on feeding tubes, rough handling by workers and birds who were clearly in distress and unable to move, while others were left to die without veterinary care. Yet, chefs and producers still argue that these animals don’t suffer.
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