Agriculture Minister told to push for EU ban on foie gras

18 December 2008

Agriculture Minister told to push for EU ban on foie gras

On the initiative of the SP, Agriculture Minister Gerda Verburg has been instructed by Parliament to return to Brussels to negotiate a ban on the force-feeding of ducks and geese with other EU member states. Foie gras, produced from the livers of geese and ducks which have been force-fed to the point where these organs become morbidly fat, is regarded as a delicacy, but can be made only at the cost of serious maltreatment of the fowl.

The European Commission has no interest in a ban on force-feeding and for this reason Verburg has been unwilling to bring further pressure to bear. SP Member of Parliament Krista van Velzen told Parliament that the Minister must not be allowed to let the matter drop. She should be persuading other member states of the desirability of a ban on such an extremely cruel method of feeding, Van Velzen said. A majority of MPs voted today to back this call.

This is the third time that Parliament has voted to support a motion from the SP calling for the matter to be tackled at European level. In addition, it was a motion from the SP which led to the removal of foie gras from the Christmas menu in the Parliament’s restaurant. “Everyone should be following that example, because by eating this stuff you’re supporting cruelty to animals.”

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