Animal rights activists hoping to stop the sale of foie gras at restaurants and hotels in Arundel took to the high street this weekend for an awareness raising event.
The day of action organised by local campaigner Wendy Lockwood on Saturday was arranged to coincide with a national protest organised by animal protection group Animal Equality.
The group has launched a petition calling for the government to ban the import of foie gras, which is made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened, after its investigations revealed the ‘extreme suffering’ of animals on foie gras farms in France and Spain.
Wendy said: “We had a good response in Arundel and had lots of signatures for our petition.”
She has also been writing to venues in the town calling for them to stop selling the product.
Wendy said: “We had noticed that there were quite a few restaurants in Arundel that served it. One has just taken it off the menu after we contacted them.
“It’s terribly cruelly produced but we still import 179 tonnes of it, so it’s a case of trying to remove that demand.”
She said she would ‘love’ Arundel to become a foie gras-free town.
After speaking with residents in Arundel, she said: “We were surprised that a lot of people didn’t know about it, they didn’t know how it was produced, especially young people
“It was good to bring awareness.
“Some people were surprised it was so available in Arundel.”
While foie gras production is banned in the UK and many other countries, it is still legal to import and sell the product in Britain.
A YouGov poll carried out in June 2017 found there was public support for an import ban on foie gras – with 77 per cent of those who expressed an opinion in favour of a ban, according to Animal Equality.
A spokesman for the group said: “With the UK leaving the EU, there is no legal barrier to enacting a ban.”
Wendy said: “I don’t understand why the UK imports foie gras when less than 10 per cent of us eat it.
“No animal should be put through a life of torture, especially not for a totally unnecessary product like foie gras.”
Find out more about the campaign here.