Compassion has joined a number of animal welfare charities lending their support to PETA's campaign calling on Fortnum and Mason to cease sales of foie gras.
In a letter to the store's new managing director, Ewan Vickers, the group, including the RSPCA, Animal Defenders International, Animal Aid, Viva!, Four Paws, One Kind, Save Me and the International Veterinary Information Society is urging Fortnum and Mason to join other large London stores such as Selfridges in halting the sale of this cruel product.
The letter highlights a poll carried out by the RSPCA five years ago, which showed public opinion is in support of a ban, with 63% believing the sale of foie gras should be prohibited in the UK.
To make foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed until their livers swell to 6-10 times their normal size. Ducks are sometimes kept confined in cages throughout the force-feeding period. Fortnum and Mason currently sells foie gras from geese.
The birds are restrained and grain is forced down their throats through a tube, commonly by pneumatic pump. The swollen liver can make walking and breathing difficult and internal wounds caused by the feeding tube are common.
The forced feeding practices required to create the fatty liver are banned in all but five countries in the EU, including the UK, which is why Fortnum and Mason are required to import the product from France, which continues to allow its production.
Dil Peeling, Compassion's Director of Public Affairs, says:
It's ludicrous and frankly unacceptable that a food which is illegal to produce in this country because of cruelty concerns can still be imported for sale in British shops.
"The majority of the British public do not want to see this cruel product on the shelves, and we call on Fortnum and Mason to listen to these concerns and to stop selling foie gras in its store and through its website.