Foie gras banned in all royal residences, letter from King Charles’s household confirms

King Charles (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Wire)
King Charles (Chris Jackson/PA) (PA Wire)

Foie gras has been banned in all royal residences, Buckingham Palace has confirmed, following a backlash from animal welfare campaigners.

British farmers are banned from producing the controversial liver pâté made by force-feeding ducks or geese to fatten their livers. However, the luxury food can still be imported from abroad.

In a letter to animal welfare charity Peta, King Charles’s household has confirmed that foie gras is off the menu in all royal households including Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor Castle, Hillsborough Castle and Buckingham Palace.

Elisa Allen, vice president of Peta, urged others to “follow the King’s lead and leave foie gras off the menu this Christmas and beyond”.

“Video footage of birds being painfully force-fed is enough to make anyone lose their lunch,” she said, describing how the livers of animals are engorged to produce the food.

Foie gras, made from the livers of duck and geese that have been artificially fattened by force-feeding, is a favourite among many foodies.

But the way it is produced - using metal tubes inserted up to four times a day to drop grain down the throats of the birds - has been condemned by animal welfare groups.

Experts say it is not possible to produce foie gras without harming the birds’ welfare. Polls suggest that two-thirds of people oppose the sale of foie gras in Britain.

One alternative to foie gras in some upmarket stores is stores is a “cruelty-free” equivalent, called patería de sousa, which is produced from birds raised on a Spanish farm that are encouraged to “naturally” eat enough to enlarge their livers.