A citizens' initiative for the end of the use of cages in farming in Europe was launched in September by CIWF with the support of other associations. On this occasion, CIWF published a brochure denouncing, among other things, the use of cages in the production of foie gras.
The choice of the photos in the brochure is problematic as :
- First, the duck represented on page 22 is not a duck raised for the production of foie gras;
- Second, the photo on page 23 does not reflect the reality of the fattening phase.
Photo taken from CIWF Brochure (p.22)
Photo taken from CIWF brochure (p.23)
Indeed, this picture showing a caged duck vomiting does not correspond to a good breeding practice as advocated by our Federation: a duck (or a goose) can only be fed once its previous meal has been correctly digested.
In fact, this photo - without date nor context – claims to represent the life of any palmiped in the production of foie gras. With this cage in close-up, without further details, this picture deliberately throws discredit on our profession: as for collective cages used in the production, the grid is lowered only during the act of feeding, that is to say a few minutes only, twice a day. This grill is lowered for the safety of the animal.
Collective cage with raised grid
Living 90% of their life outside, palmipeds destined for foie gras production are placed in collective cages for a few days during the fattening phase. Beyond semantics and the negative connotation that can be attached to certain terms like « cage », what matters to European foie gras producers are the real conditions in which their animals are raised and the improvements that can be made.
It is also important to point out that, at the cost of substantial investments, the European foie gras sector has changed all its equipment in response to the Recommendation of June 22, 1991 of the Council of Europe. Thus, all individual cages – épinettes - have been replaced by collective cages meeting all the requirements laid down in the Recommendation.
For these reasons, and because we feel that we must not be silent when it is the very profession of foie gras producer that is attacked, we gave notice to CIWF to remove both the photos mentioned above.
Far from wanting to "silence" or "intimidate" CIWF, according to its own words in a letter addressed to its members, Euro Foie Gras is concerned with restoring the truth about the European production of foie gras. We no longer accept smear campaigns and invite our fellow citizens to visit our farms.
Finally, the best response to criticism has always been and will always be a total transparency. Foie gras farms can be visited in the five producing countries, allowing people to form their own opinion.
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