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RSPCA and other groups join PETA to pile pressure on Fortnums

Nine different animal welfare groups including the RSPCA are calling on Fortnum & Mason to stop selling foie gras.

‘Strict guidelines’: Fortnums stands by foie gras

The prestigious London grocer has already been under intense pressure from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) , which last month released graphic undercover footage of cruelty to geese at farms it says are represented by the Sarlat Périgord cooperative, which supplies Fortnum & Mason foie gras distributor Georges Bruck.

Now PETA has published an open letter this week to the Piccadilly store signed by an additional nine other animal welfare groups. The letter, addressed to new Fortnums managing director Ewan Venters, repeats its calls for the cessation of sales of foie gras based on animal welfare grounds.

Venters formerly sat on the board of London department store Selfridges, which stopped selling foie gras in 2009 after coming under pressure from Peta.

Foie gras is produced by force-feeding geese and ducks a diet of fat and corn (a process known as gavage), which results in their livers becoming engorged with fat cells. PETA claims the process ‘is cruel and causes ducks and geese to suffer terribly.’

A spokesperson for Fortnum & Mason told Decanter.com, ‘As a retailer we are here to provide our customers with the products they ask for, including foie gras, and we respect their right to buy and enjoy the foods they like.’

‘We uphold strict guidelines relating to the making of foie gras,’ It also confirmed a 60% increase in sales of foie gras since the campaign begun. No more detail was available at the time of writing.

Signatories to the letter include the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Compassion in World Farming, Animal Defenders International, Animal Aid, Viva!, Four Paws, One Kind, Save Me and the International Veterinary Society.

Written by Matt Walls

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