Vegan Conservatives are urging the Prime Minister to think again about a reported u-turn on the proposed ban of foie gras and fur. It's thought that one or two influential MPs have lobbied Boris Johnson to scrap the ban, a manifest commitment to advance animal welfare.
Foie gras is made by force-feeding ducks and geese until their livers are bloated and diseased. The production process clearly contravenes the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes and The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007, which states that animals "must be provided with food and liquid in a manner that does not cause them unnecessary suffering or injury". It is still made in Europe - mainly France - but production has been illegal in Britain for more than 20 years.
Fur farming is also illegal in Britain and the government consulted on a ban in June last year. The industry traps and kills millions of animals in the most heinous of conditions. Many animals are grown uncomfortably obese to maximise their surface area and then electrocuted after a life in a barren cage. The EU produces 63% of mink and 70% of fox, with Denmark the largest producer. As public demand for fur has shrunk, so costs have increased and production methods become more cruel. Synthetic alternatives to fur are widespread and practically identical to the animal product.
Vegan Conservatives co-chair, Graham Godwin-Pearson, says, "Both foie gras and fur are considered too unpleasant to produce in Britain, but we still permit imports, in which sense we are offshoring animal cruelty. The vast majority of the British public are opposed to both products and banning them is a smart political decision in advance of the local elections in May, as well as a clear indication that Britain leads the way on animal welfare.
"We call on the Prime Minister to press on with the ban, in accordance with Defra's consultation."