20/12/2012 14:38 GMT | Updated 20/12/2012 15:18 GMT

Foie Gras Off The Menu At The House Of Lords

Foie gras has been taken off the menu in the House of Lords after complaints from animal rights campaigners.

Lords catering chiefs have been criticised for serving up the delicacy - controversial for the way geese and ducks are treated in its production - in the opulent Barry Room restaurant.

But a Lords spokesman disclosed on Thursday that the luxury pate would no longer be served when peers, who broke up for Christmas on Wednesday, return in the New Year.

foie gras

Foie gras are displayed at the laboratory of the farm 'La Roche Martel'

"It will not feature on menus from January," he said.

Foie gras, which is already off the menu in the House of Commons, is made from geese and ducks that have been force-fed with grain before they are slaughtered and their swollen livers extracted.

Food producers are banned from force-feeding animals to make the the product in the UK, but it is still available from fine food specialists and in restaurants.

Campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) won support from a number of peers in its calls for the pate to be banned from Lords' restaurants.

"We are delighted that the House of Lords will join the House of Commons in taking a stand against cruelty and removing this most un-British of products from its menus," Peta's associate director Mimi Bekhechi said.

Baroness Young of Hornsey backed their calls, saying, "Just as we do not tolerate cruelty to dogs or cats, so we should reject inflicting pain and suffering on birds".

Agriculture minister David Heath recently urged consumers not to buy foie gras because of the inhumane method of producing it.

Labour MP Chris Williamson, who has campaigned against the consumption of foie gras, said peers should be setting an example to others.

"It's very good news that they have decided to yield to the popular view of the vast majority of British people that it's a totally cruel and unnecessary foodstuff," he said.

"It's highly appropriate that it should not be served anywhere in Parliament as parliamentarians ought to be setting a better example to the wider public."