Joint press release – The European Parliament votes in support of foie gras production

Euro Foie Gras and Copa-Cogeca welcome the positive vote of the European Parliament on Jérémy Decerle’s ‘Implementation report on on-farm animal welfare.’ Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) acknowledged that, “Foie gras production is based on farming procedures that respect animal welfare criteria” and rejected the call to ban assisted feeding of ducks and geese.

Last night, a majority of MEPs voted against two amendments calling for the ban of assisted feeding for foie gras production. The adopted text states that, “The fattening phase, which lasts between 10 and 12 days on average with two meals per day, respects the animal’s biological parameters”. Moreover, it recognises that foie gras production is extensive, open air and mostly takes place on family farms. Fat palmipeds spend 90% of their lives in open air runs, where they can grow freely, surrounded by their peers. This report will feed into the Commission’s revision process of the EU animal welfare legislation.

Christophe Barrailh, President of Euro Foie Gras, reacted, “We very much welcome the support expressed by the Parliament to our sector. Our constant efforts to maintain our specificities and high animal welfare standards have been heard.”

Foie gras production indeed meets all EU animal welfare standards and even goes beyond by following the sector’s own charter adopted in 2013 and by developing animal welfare indicators.

It is also essential to note that, according to the current state of knowledge and available techniques, and unlike claims made for certain products, it is not possible to produce foie gras without assisted feeding.

Euro Foie Gras and Copa-Cogeca have always worked towards and will continue to ensure that fat palmipeds are reared in optimal conditions by fully ensuring their well-being while meeting requirements related to sanitary aspects and offering satisfactory working conditions to breeders.

Co-signed by: Euro Foie Gras (European Federation of foie gras) and Copa-Cogeca (European Farmers and Agri-Cooperatives).