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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 3 March 2021

Luxury British department store Fortnum & Mason to stop selling foie gras after decade-long campaign by animal rights groups

Peta has praised the decision as the end of 'torture in a tin'

Fortnum & Mason will stop selling foie gras. Corbis
Fortnum & Mason will stop selling foie gras. Corbis

After a decade-long campaign by animal rights activists, British department store Fortnum & Mason has bowed to pressure to stop selling foie gras.

The item, which has a long-standing tradition as a luxury dish throughout Europe, has long angered animal rights groups due to its controversial production, which sees ducks and geese force-fed for human consumption.

Most UK restaurants and retailers have phased the product out over the past few years, but the luxury department store had, until now, remained firm, despite growing pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and a number of celebrities including the late Sir Roger Moore, Twiggy, Joanna Lumley, Bill Oddie and Ricky Gervais.

But this week, Fortnum & Mason confirmed that it would no longer be buying the product in, and would cease selling it once its current stock reserves had run out. In a statement to The Telegraph, a spokesperson said: “This decision was made last year as part of an ongoing focus on the way we do business.”

For now, the remaining tins are available on Fortnum & Mason’s website. The product description reads: “Our foie gras is produced by just two farms carefully selected for their excellent welfare standards; smooth and creamy, it is the simplest way to transform a meal into a banquet."

In 2009, luxury British department store Selfridges stopped the sale of foie gras, although many of its high-end clientele were unhappy with the decision. Harrods, however, still stocks the product.

Many people have protested the sale of foie gras outside London’s Fortnum & Mason stores over the years. In 2012, Peta published video footage said to show the inside of one of the farms the retailer used as its foie gras supplier, showing geese which struggled to breathe and stand as a result of force feeding. At the time, Fortnum & Mason maintained it would not stop selling the product, saying demand among its customers was “very strong”.

Following Fortnum & Mason’s decision, Peta said: “We have excellent news for ducks and geese! Following our decade-long campaign, high-end department store Fortnum & Mason has made the decision to stop selling cruelly produced foie gras.

“Although it took far too long, we’re thrilled that the penny finally dropped and Fortnum & Mason is joining the extensive list of iconic British institutions to reject this torture in a tin.”

Updated: February 11, 2021 02:52 PM


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