Swiss MPs reject ban on foie gras imports

Switzerland’s parliament rejected a bid to ban foie gras imports Thursday but ordered that the methods used to produce the delicacy had to be stated on the packaging.

Force-feeding ducks and geese — a key way of making foie gras — is banned in Switzerland, but importing produce derived from this method is not.

Swiss MPs agreed with the upper house of parliament and the government that an import ban risked damaging commerce with France.

The government “was opposed, is opposed and will oppose the ban on foie gras imports,” Swiss President Alain Berset told lawmakers.

“An import ban is the most radical measure possible,” he added.

“It’s a measure that is only justified if there are no other ways of achieving the desired objective — transparency on production methods and contributing to animal welfare.”

In April, the Swiss government backed a less restrictive measure, demanding the declaration of production methods on certain animal products such as foie gras and frogs’ legs.

But the debate over foie gras could soon resurface, with animal rights activists hoping to force a referendum on the issue.

They have until December 28 to gather the necessary 100,000 signatories, but even then it could be several months or even years before the Swiss vote on a ban. — Agence France-Presse

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