A FOIE GRAS producer has been arrested in France, charged with animal cruelty in a landmark case which could open the floodgates for similar trials to proceed.
The Ernest Soulard producer, who has supplied award-winning chefs, has been accused of keeping geese in an inhuman conditions including caging geese in cramped conditions.
A human rights group has been accused of attempting to hijack the case to highlight the practice if ‘gavage’ where geese are fed directly into the gut to inflame the liver.
Soulard are suing the group – L214 – for trespassing and say that gavage is not what is on trial.
The company argues that foie gras is part of France’s gastronomic tradition, itself listed by UNESCO as part of the world’s heritage.
The European Union banned individual cages for birds in 2011, but gave producers until the end of 2015 to install larger collective cages for the gavage.
Though foie gras continues to be heralded as a delicacy around the world, it has experienced a backlash in the UK, as caterers, wholesalers and retailers end the sale of foie gras in protest of the perceived cruel nature of production.
Perhaps it’s time for chefs still buying foie gras to consider the impact of their purchases, which continues to encourage the practice?