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Michael Caines targeted by activists over foie gras

11 December 2008 by

Michael Caines has come under fire from animal rights protestors who are urging the Michelin-starred chef to remove foie gras from his menu at one of his Devon restaurants.

Caines has been given a 600-signature petition to stop serving the controversial delicacy at his eponymous restaurant at the 53-room Abode hotel in Exeter.

Literally French for "fat liver", foie gras is produced by the process of force-feeding, which results in the bird's liver becoming enlarged with an increased fat content referred to as a disease called "hepatic lipidosis".

While the method of foie gras production isn't practised in Britain, the product is legally available.

The protestors campaigning against Caines serving foie gras showed a human being force-fed with spaghetti to compare the conditions, they said.

Sharon Howe of Exeter Friends for Animals, which held the protest outside the restaurant while the petition was handed in, said foie gras was a "very cruel product".

"It's quite ironic. Michael Caines promotes local produce, which we think is a very praiseworthy. But at the same time he is importing a product, which, were it produced in this country, would be banned because it contravenes animal welfare legislation," she told the BBC.

The protest marks the latest in a series of animal rights protestors' campaigns on the use of foie gras in UK restaurants.

Last month, Minibar in Bath was forced to take the product off its menu after members of the Bath Activist Network staged a protest outside the restaurant.

Foie Gras >>

Animal activists force foie gras off restaurant menu in Bath >>

UK restaurateurs defend their right to serve foie gras >>

Michelin-starred restaurant forced to take foie gras off the menu >>

Abode Hotels - two years on >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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