On Sunday, the animal rights organisation Global Action in the Interest of Animals (GAIA) called for a ban on the sale of foie gras from Wallonia and any foie gras obtained through force-feeding.
Originally a French delicacy, foie gras is the liver of a duck or goose which are typically force-fed excessive amounts to fatten the birds up before being slaughtered. The process is undeniably inhumane and causes great discomfort to the birds, whose livers swell to ten times their normal size.
In a letter to the Brussels and Flemish ministers responsible for animal welfare, GAIA president Michel Vandenbosch wrote: ‘Enough is enough! It is vital that these products that come from torturing of animals are no longer sold.’
Due to the cruelty involved in its production foie gras has long been a controversial food that many, not only animal rights activists but also normal citizens, are appalled by.
A distasteful delicacy
Last Thursday, GAIA posted images of three farms to denounce the practices of foie gras producers in Wallonia. ‘The “artisanal” label and “respect for traditional production” used by Walloon producers hide a very different reality from what people imagine,’ GAIA wrote.
The association also stressed the responsibility of supermarket chains, noting that ‘by continuing to sell and promote cruel foie gras, they perpetuate and even reinforce these cruel acts’, Belga News Agency reports.
Force-feeding is banned in Brussels and Flanders but the governments of these regions ‘must now dare to go further and take all necessary measures to put an end to the sale of foie gras resulting from torture,’ Vandenbosch stressed.
Meanwhile, Wallonia’s Minister for Animal Welfare, Céline Tellier, has called for an investigation following the airing of the “shocking” images revealed by Gaia last week.