Labour calls for ban on foie gras imports

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Labour calls for ban on foie gras imports

Related tags: Foie gras

Importing foie gras to the UK would be banned under new measures proposed by the Labour Party.

The plans are outlined in a 50 point draft policy document entitled ‘Animal Welfare For The Many, Not The Few’, released on Wednesday.

It says the party will seek to end the ‘cage age of outdated farming practices’ with a total ban on foie gras ‘to restrict the market for this cruel and inhumane product’.

Foie gras production is outlawed in the UK and most of Europe, though it is still farmed in France, Spain, Belgium, Romania and Hungary.

Serving the product, which is made from the enlarged liver of ducks or geese that have been force-fed, has long been controversial in UK restaurants.

Chef Daniel Clifford took it off the menu at his two-Michelin-starred Midsummer House in 2008 after the restaurant was vandalised by protesters​ from the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

Hotel groups Malmaison and Hotel du Vin and contract caterer Compass Group have also removed the product from menus​ following pressure from animal rights groups.

Chef Albert Roux previously condemned serving foie gras. Speaking in 2008​ he said the dish should carry a health warning similar to cigarettes, so people were aware how it was produced.

Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, says: “With new trade deals on the horizon and the UK no longer subject to EU-wide rules on animal welfare, we want to ensure there is a comprehensive legislative agenda in place so that the UK becomes a world leader on animal rights.”

Labour's proposals have been backed by the League against Cruel Sports, Compassion in World Farming and WWF.

Conservative MP Steve Double says: "Labour are belatedly playing catch-up with the huge progress made by this Government on animal welfare.

"However, Labour wouldn't even be able to deliver some of these promises because they want to keep following EU rules after Brexit.”

Related topics: Legislation

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