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18-gavage-foie-gras-cages-individuelles-France-2012Today, Intergroup Vice-President, Keith Taylor has sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament, calling for a complete ban on the sale of foie gras to be put in place in the European Parliament on animal welfare grounds.

The letter, signed by 36 MEPs from across the political spectrum, asks for this ban to be put in place in the Parliament’s three locations – Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. This initiative follows on from an email that Keith Taylor sent to the Parliament’s President in the run-up to Christmas last year, asking for foie gras to be taken off the Christmas menu of one of the Parliament’s restaurants.

The full text of the letter and list of supporting MEPs are below:

26 March 2015

Dear President Schulz, Dear Quaestors,

We are writing to request that, on animal welfare grounds, the European Parliament ban the sale of foie gras in all of its restaurants and catering outlets in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.

As you will be aware, the production of foie gras inflicts immense suffering on ducks and geese. The European Union’s own Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare – whose members include more than a dozen professors of veterinary medicine and animal science from across Europe – concluded that “force feeding, as currently practised, is detrimental to the welfare of the birds”[1].

This recent video footage shows conditions in what are supposedly the “highest welfare” foie gras farms in France

The scientific consensus is absolutely clear on this – it’s impossible to produce foie gras humanely. Foie gras production is actually illegal in the UK and more than a dozen other European countries, with more and more countries around the world, are outlawing the barbaric practice of force-feeding birds.

Many citizens across the EU are also against the production of foie gras. In early March, a petition organised by a coalition of European NGOs and signed by over 320,000 people was handed into the European Commission. It calls for an end to foie gras production.

Renowned French-born chef Albert Roux has said of foie gras, “It’s the same as cigarettes, it should carry a health warning so that people know what’s been done to the animal”, and refuses to serve it in his restaurants.

Countless restaurants, high-profile events and institutions, including both restaurants in the Houses of Parliament in the UK, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Wimbledon and Selfridges in London, have already banished foie gras from their menus.

The Flemish, Brussels and Federal Parliaments in Belgium have very recently also decided to permanently remove foie gras from their menus.

We ask you, President and Quaestors of the European Parliament, to make the compassionate and rational decision to ensure that the European Parliament joins this list of renowned institutions by also banning the sale of foie gras from our premises.

We look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.

Yours sincerely,

Keith Taylor MEP (Greens/EFA)

Stefan Eck MEP (GUE/NGL)

Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP (EFDD)

Renate Sommer MEP (EPP)

Mark Demesmaeker MEP (ECR)

Henna Virkkunen MEP (EPP)

Molly Scott-Cato MEP (Greens/EFA)

Marlene Mizzi MEP (S&D)

Bart Staes MEP (Greens/EFA)

Margrete Auken MEP (Greens/EFA)

Anneliese Dodds MEP (S&D)

Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (EPP)

Jörg Leichtfried MEP (S&D)

Heidi Hautala MEP (Greens/EFA)

Pascal Arimont MEP (EPP)

Ivo Belet MEP (EPP)

Kathleen Van Brempt MEP (S&D)

Jeppe Kofod MEP (S&D)

Julie Girling MEP (ECR)

Bas Eickhout MEP (Greens/EFA)

Judith Sargentini MEP (Greens/EFA)

Jean Lambert MEP (Greens/EFA)

Laura Ferrara MEP (EFDD)

Anja Hazekamp MEP (GUE/NGL)

David Martin MEP (S&D)

Michèle Rivasi MEP (Greens/EFA)

Igor Soltes MEP (Greens/EFA)

Eleonora Evi MEP (EFDD)

Catherine Bearder MEP (ALDE)

Bodil Ceballos MEP (Greens/EFA)

Stelios Kouloglou MEP (GUE/NGL)

Jordi Sebastià MEP (Greens/EFA)

Sabine Lösing MEP (GUE/NGL)

Philippe Lamberts MEP (Greens/EFA)

Claudiu Ciprian Tanasescu MEP (S&D)

Anne-Marie Mineur MEP (GUE/NGL)

[1] The EU Commission Report of the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare, Welfare Aspects of the Production of Foie Gras in Ducks and Geese, http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/international/out17_en.pdf, adopted 16 December 1998, accessed 2 December 2014.

 

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