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Ukraine’s last official foie gras farm is to shut down following the release of an exposé by animal protection organization Open Cages.
The investigation, which was published in April of this year, featured footage (below) taken by an undercover worker using a secret camera at the farm operated by poultry producer MHP.
The footage was viewed millions of times on social media worldwide, leading to numerous restaurants in the UK pledging to ditch foie gras.
According to Open Cages, the conditions documented include ‘birds being thrown violently from the truck into cages, metal feeding pipes lubricated with engine oil being shoved down the bird’s throats to pump them full of food, and injured and dead birds being left to suffer or rot in piles’.
The organization adds that force-feeding is standard practice on most foie gras farms to fatten the animals’ livers so they swell to ten times their normal size and become diseased.
“MHP, the parent company of a leading international agro-industrial group with headquarters in Ukraine, today announces its decision to cease production of goose meat and foie gras at its Snyatynska poultry farm by the beginning of September 2019,” the company said in an official statement.
“The assets of the farm, which represent less than 0.5 percet of the assets of the MHP Group, are currently being offered for sale. MHP believes that the production of foie gras is not consistent with the Company’s strategy and policy of being a global leader in E&S and Animal Welfare.”
“It’s hard to believe that foie gras even exists. Force-feeding animals until their liver swells 10 times bigger is simply barbaric, and the product’s ‘luxury’ label is almost laughable,” Open Cages CEO, Connor Jackson, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
“We are absolutely thrilled to see this company choose to stand against needless suffering by shutting down. Any UK restaurants still serving foie gras will be taking a hard look in the mirror: animal cruelty is bad business.”
Open Cages is urging Michael Gove and the UK Government to ban the sale of foie gras, post-Brexit, as well as calling on eateries to remove the product from their menu.