Foie gras is a common food in Spanish supermarkets and with a high degree of consumption. And yet, our country is one of the few in Europe that continues to allow its sale, since it is prohibited in the rest. The reason is the cruel breeding and fattening process that is followed with ducks and geese to obtain this product. Foie gras is a food obtained through the torture of these animalsdenounce numerous entities.
On Thursday, a protest was held in Madrid by the Animal Equality collective in Plaza de Callao, where the slogan ‘Stop Foie Gras’ was displayed in giant letters. It is an act that is part of the campaign of this and other groups to ask the Government to put an end to the forced feeding of ducks and geese for the production of this product, a practice that is already prohibited in 18 countries.
“How is it possible that Spain is one of the few countries in Europe that allows this barbarity?” Asked the member of Animal Equality, Javier Moreno, during the concentration. Spain is one of only five European countries, along with France, Bulgaria, Hungary and Belgium, where foie gras is still produced.
“To the animals they put a 30 centimeter tube into them for two weeks to force them to eat two kilos of pasta a day -equivalent to twelve kilos for a person-. It is a cruel process that we have recorded on farms in Spain,” he explained.
Every year, a million of these birds are subjected to “real torture” and a large part die because they cannot bear the suffering, he added.
Likewise, he indicated that Animal Equality has requested a meeting with the Government to present its campaign and its request, as well as try to speak with all the parliamentary groups. In addition, it is working at European level to put an end to this process. The objective of the organization is to maintain these actions until its campaign leads to an institutional debate and “legislative progress is achieved.”
Moreno has also claimed the existing social rejection of this practice and has underlined that 73,000 people have signed a petition to the Executive to put an end to this practice.
animals under torture
Force-feeding turns the liver into a completely diseased organ that weighs up to 10 times more than it would naturally
Every year more than 1,150,000 ducks and geese are forced-fed in Spain so that their livers grow up to ten times their normal size and foie gras is obtained.
They are confined in individual cages or in groups, and are fed through a 30 cm metal tube. For two weeks the dose is increased until reaching 2 kilos of corn paste per day; the equivalent of 12 kilos for one person.
At 4 months is when forced feeding begins, which lasts between 12 and 15 days depending on the farm. If it is prolonged in time, the ducks begin to die.
In 18 countries they have already banned its production; Argentina, Austria, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, Turkey, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Entrepreneurs defend their performance
The organization that brings together businessmen in the sector, however, defends the full legality of its practices and points out that they are regulated by their own regulations. Likewise, on their website they state that animal welfare criteria are observed to avoid the suffering of ducks and geese.
“The webs destined for the production of foie gras live most of their lives outdoors and are transferred to collective housing during the days of the fattening phase. Beyond the semantics and the negative connotation that can be attributed to certain terms, what matters most to European foie gras breeders are the real welfare conditions in which their animals are raised and the improvements that can continue to be made” , notes Euro Foie Gras.
“At the cost of substantial investments, the oil palmipede sector has changed all its facilities in response to the Council of Europe Recommendation of June 22, 1999. Thus, all individual housing has been replaced by collective housing that complies with all the requirements set out in the Recommendation”, says the Euro Foie Gras organization on its website.
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