Thank you for contacting me about the production of pâté de foie gras.
I am clear that the production of foie gras from ducks or geese using force feeding raises serious welfare concerns. I am glad that this method of production has been banned in the UK for over 15 years following the introduction of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which brought forward a legal requirement to provide for an animal’s welfare needs, such as supplying a suitable diet and protecting the animal from injury and disease. Under this legislation, it is a criminal offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to an animal. I would like to assure you that ministers are united in their commitment to upholding our world-leading standards in animal welfare.
Regarding the sale and import of foie gras, I welcome that the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare sets out the Government’s vision to introduce a range of world-leading reforms to improve the welfare and conservation of animals at home and abroad. Through this Action Plan, my ministerial colleagues have committed to building a clear evidence base to inform decisions on the import or sale of foie gras.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.