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Call for foie gras ban by animal rights group

stephen.exley@cambridge-news.co.uk

ANIMAL rights campaigners are calling for foie gras to be banned in Cambridge.

The food product, made out of the liver of a fattened duck or goose that has been force fed corn, is regarded as a delicacy in French cuisine.

It is bitterly opposed by animal rights activists, who argue it amounts to cruelty, and it is illegal to produce it in the UK.

But it is still legal to import it, and campaigners Animal Rights Cambridge are calling for foie gras to be banned from city council properties and land.

Rachel Mathai, spokeswoman for the group, said: "Throats can be damaged by the metal tube used in the force-feeding process.

"When fed, the liver swells up to 10 times its normal size, effectively giving the birds liver disease.

"Foie gras is ranked as a delicacy among so-called high society, but actually it has no place in a truly civilised culture.

"We hope that the city council will agree that Cambridge should be a foie gras free zone."
A petition calling for the ban will be presented to the council's strategy and resources scrutiny committee on Monday.

The committee will also consider proposals to switch to only using meat and egg products made using "food production that respects animal welfare".

A report to the committee reveals that switching to free range products would add an extra 15-50 per cent on to current prices.

But the document concedes: "Most of the council's existing suppliers will be able to comply with the policy."

In 2008, Michelin-starred restaurant Midsummer House took foie gras off its menu after protests from activists turned ugly.

Animal Rights Cambridge held peaceful protests, but members of the Animal Liberation Front sprayed the premises with graffiti, glued door locks and damaged windows and doors.

At the time, Daniel Clifford, the chef director, said: "We decided that for our own safety and the safety of our customers we would take it off the menu."

For more information about the campaign, visit www.animalrightscambridge.webs.com  

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