Duke boycotts Scottish Harrods over French pate

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The Independent Online

Scotland's premier department store has lost the patronage of Scotland's premier peer in a row over animal rights and the fate of millions of French ducks and geese.

Scotland's premier department store has lost the patronage of Scotland's premier peer in a row over animal rights and the fate of millions of French ducks and geese.

The Duke and Duchess of Hamilton have launched a personal boycott of Jenners in Edinburgh, which has a reputation as Scotland's version of Harrods, because of the store's refusal to stop selling paté de fois gras, produced from the liver of the force-fed birds.

The 15th Duke, who holds the title of Scotland's first ranked and oldest peerage, and is also Hereditary Keeper of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, has cancelled his account with Jenners after 30 years as a customer after the store rejected his wife's appeal to take the paté off its shelves.

The Duchess, Kay Carmichael, is a member of the Edinburgh-based group Advocates for Animals, which has launched a campaign with the World Society for the Protection of Animals in protest at the force-feeding of 25 million ducks and geese used annually to produce the French delicacy.

To her disgust, the caged birds have tubes permanently in their throats, through which grain and fat is pneumatically pumped. She wrote to the store's managing director, Andrew Douglas Miller, in protest but her appeals were rejected.

She has now returned her account card along with her husband's. "I don't particularly want to shop in any store that serves paté de fois gras," she said. "I have withdrawn all my support from Jenners.

"We won't go back until they stop serving paté de fois gras. It is obtained under very cruel conditions. Even top chefs like Anthony Worral Thompson won't use paté de fois gras because of the suffering the animal goes through."

In his reply to the Duchess, Mr Douglas Miller insisted it was the store's job to provide a service for all its customers. "And as long as demand exists for this, we feel we have an obligation to continue to make it available" he said.

However, yesterday, Jenners had no paté de fois gras in stock. Its last tin, which retailed at £12.75 for 130 grams, was on the shelves at Christmas. Jenners' food hall is also being reorganised, and the staff were unsure yesterday when it would be re-stocked.

Les Ward, the director of Advocates for Animals, said he hoped other customers would follow the Duchess's lead.

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