Victory! Italian supermarkets say no to foie gras

Brenda Ferretti
Campaigns manager

The supermarket chain Iper la Grande i has announced that it will stop selling foie gras, a product obtained by subjecting geese and ducks to the cruel practice of gavage, also known as force-feeding.

We are delighted to announce that Iper la Grande i has joined our #ViaDagliScaffali (OffTheShelves) campaign, launched in 2015 with the aim of urging major retailers to stop selling foie gras.

The campaign was launched after the release and widespread dissemination of our investigation carried out on various farms in France, a country that symbolises the production of foie gras or fatty liver. In these establishments, ducks and geese are fed several times a day by means of a metal tube inserted into their throats. The amount of food forcibly administered to the animals, disproportionate to what they would consume in nature, leads them to become ill with hepatic steatosis (i.e. fatty liver). Foie gras is in fact a diseased liver which can reach a weight ten times higher than that of a healthy organ, with dramatic consequences for the health of the animals.

Force-feeding is torture

Force-feeding has been described as ‘harmful to animal welfare’ in a report by the Scientific Veterinary Committee of the European Union. It was subsequently banned under Article 14 of Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes throughout the European Union, including Italy.

In 1999, the Standing Committee of the Council of Europe decided to allow production in countries where force-feeding is considered a “common practice”. These countries are France, Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary and Belgium. Foie gras is then exported from these countries throughout the European Union, also reaching Italian supermarkets.

Our campaign against foie gras

foie gras
In 2016, we organised a flash mob outside the Eataly store in Bologna to ask the company to commit to no longer selling foie gras.
© Essere Animali

Thanks to the efforts of many people, 12,800 supermarkets belonging to the main brands of major retailers have chosen to stop selling this cruel product. With the #ViaDagliScaffali campaign, by means of demonstrations inside and in front of supermarkets, we also started to put pressure on this major distribution chain, the last in Italy that still sold this product.

As a result, the supermarket chain Iper la Grande i is joining the ranks of PAM/Panorama, Eataly, Consorzio Nazionale CONAD, Esselunga, Gruppo Selex, MD SpA, Lidl, CRAI, Bennet, Realco Sigma, Tigros and Carrefour. Previously, the Coop had also decided independently to stop selling foie gras.

Thanks to our activists!

In just a few years we have achieved a great result, also thanks to the commitment and efforts of all our activists. Proof that change is possible ❤️