Foie gras is a French gourmet delicacy obtained from the liver of force-fed ducks or gooses. The birds are normally excessively fed to make them fatter before being slaughtered. Through this process, the birds’ liver can swell up to ten times their regular size, causing pain and discomfort to the animals. Due to its cruelty, the process has long been severely criticized not only by activists, but also by regular citizens.
Last Sunday, animal rights organization GAIA (Global Action in the Interest of Animals) urged Brussels and Flanders to ban the sale of foie gras from Wallonia and any kind of force-fed foie gras. Force-feeding birds is banned in Brussels and Flanders. However, both regions still sell foie-gras obtained through this cruel process. In an attempt to ban this controversial food, GAIA president Michel Vandenbosch addressed a letter to the Brussels and Flemish ministers responsible for animal welfare. “Enough is enough! It is vital that these products that come from torturing of animals are no longer sold,” he wrote.
The animal rights organization called on both regional governments to “go further and take all necessary measures to put an end to the sale of foie gras resulting from torture.” To denounce the cruel practices of foie gras Wallon producers, GAIA published some images of three farms, adding that the “respect for traditional production” acclaimed by producers in Wallonia hides a shocking reality. Additionally, GAIA pointed out that supermarket chains also play an important role. In fact, if they keep selling and promoting force-fed foie gras, they support these cruel acts.
Following the publishing of the images, Céline Tellier, Wallonia’s Minister for Animal Welfare, has called for an investigation to shed light on the situation of foie gras production in her region.