Compassion in World Farming has written to the European Commission challenging the force feeding of ducks and geese reared to produce foie gras. The letter has been sent jointly by Compassion, Four Paws, Humane Society International, L214 and World Society for the Protection of Animals.
The production of foie gras involves force feeding ducks and geese large quantities of grain. They are often fed using a long tube which is forced down their throat.
Force feeding means that their livers become excessively fatty and expand to an unnatural size. Force feeding is condemned by many, including Compassion, for being cruel.
The letter argues that the force feeding of ducks and geese is illegal under EU animal welfare laws which dictate that animals must not be fed in a manner "which may cause unnecessary suffering or injury" and that animal feed must be 'appropriate to the species' and that animals must be fed a quantity that maintains 'good health'.
Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor at Compassion, says: "We believe that force feeding entails a serious breach of EU animal welfare legislation.
"The EU Commission claim to be actively encouraging EU countries to comply with EU requirements regarding force feeding, yet we want to know what progress is being made to rectify the situation."