Foie gras is among several proposed bans from the Labour government in a new draft policy on animal welfare.
In the 50-point policy, published yesterday, importing foie gras – which is already illegal to produce in the UK – will be outlawed. The party objects to the production methods used to create the liver pâté, whereby geese are force-fed, causing their liver to become enlarged with an increased fat content.
Other proposals in the policy include banning the export of live animals for slaughter or fattening and the introduction of mandatory labelling of meat, to include country of origin and production and slaughter methods.
If Labour came to power, it also pledges to set up CCTV in abattoirs, stop intensive factory farming and prevent the use of antibiotics in livestock.
It would also appoint an animal welfare commissioner to ensure animal welfare standards were always considered in new legislation, even through Brexit.
Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said Labour “has always been consistent” in “leadership on matters of animal welfare” and explains its vision is “one where no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain.”
Charities such as the League against Cruel Sports, Compassion in World Farming and WWF have supported the draft policy document, named Animal Welfare For the Many, Not the Few.
Compassion in World Farming’s director of campaigns Emma Slawinski said: “We are thrilled by this announcement from the Labour Party, which would revolutionise conditions for British farm animals.
“We particularly welcome Labour’s commitments to End the Cage Age, stop live exports, empower consumers with mandatory meat labelling, stop routine preventative use of antibiotics and use post-Brexit subsidies to move away from intensive factory farming and bad environmental practices. This could be the beginning of the end of cruel factory farming.”
In 2008 the two-Michelin-starred Midsummer House in Cambridge took foie gras off its menu after an attack by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), during which the restaurant was badly vandalised. Chef Albert Roux has also criticised the production methods of foie gras, saying it “should carry a health warning so that people know what’s been done to the animal”.
Four years later, Compass Group removed foie gras from all of its menus, followed by boutique hotel groups Malmaison and Hotel du Vin in 2014.
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