HC Deb 11 October 1976 vol 917 cc67-8W
Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now make a statement on the outcome of his promised reconsideration of imports of pâte de foie gras, in the light of the cruelty involved in forced feeding of strapped geese by an electrical machine.

Mr. Strang

During a recent visit to France one of my senior veterinary advisers discussed production methods with the French authorities. No new evidence emerged to justify a ban on the importation of pâté de foie gras. I am assured that it is not customary for the geese to be strapped down during feeding, that "gavage" does not constitute force-feeding, and that the purpose of the electrical machine to which my hon. Friend refers is to assist the flow of food by gravity from the food hopper into the bird's mouth. Throughout the feeding process the bird is handled gently.