A letter from Buckingham Palace to the animal rights organisation PETA has confirmed that there will no longer be any foie gras served in any of the British royal family residences. This is happening at the same time that the UK conservative government has dropped plans to ban the selling of foie gras in the country, despite previous promises. 

King Charles III, when he was Prince of Wales, had stopped the use of foie gras in his own properties, so now that he is king it would make little sense if he did not extend such policy to the rest of the royal family residences (which would include Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor Castle, Hillsborough Castle and Buckingham Palace). When he was Prince of Wales he often spoke in favour of conservation and the environment, but this was not extended to animal welfare as he used to go foxhunting, pheasant shooting, fishing, and riding horses, and he has never publicly spoken in favour of veganism. He also spoke often about giving priority to locally produced British products. As all foie gras traded in the UK is imported as it is illegal to produce it in the country, it is not certain whether the ban on serving this product in royal residents has to do more with this, rather than with any concerns for animal welfare. 

To know if this is indeed to do with concerns for animals’ wellbeing, we may need to wait and see whether other policies that are in line with animal protection, such as banning the use of bear skins for the hats of the royal guards, banning blood sports on royal land, removing hunting trophies from royal palaces, or banning meat in royal catering, are ever implemented by this monarch — contrary to what his mother ever did — but there is no indication that this is likely to happen.    

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.