RICHARD Mellen almost makes a valid point when he states the reason retailers stop selling foie gras is most likely on commercial grounds rather than ethical (Foie gras is beautiful, Letters, August 8).

But he's missing the most important point; the reason consumers are turning away from foie gras (and hence why stores cease to sell it) is recognition of the pain its production induces in the animal is becoming more prevalent.

What kind of aficionado delights in eating products in full knowledge the animals were made to suffer simply for the sake of the connoisseur's taste-buds?

Would we accept torturing sheep, cattle or pigs before slaughter?

Edified ethical shoppers are driving the decline in demand for foie gras, therefore, ethics are the reason stores are ceasing to stock it.

Neil Hood, Leabank Square, London.

* FOIE gras is not beautiful if you're either a human being with a conscience, or a goose. It's bad for you, it's bad for animal welfare, and if sales are down, that's terrific news.

Cathy Bryant, Derby Road, Manchester.

* IT is good to see that your newspaper is covering the campaign to ban foie gras in this country. Now that all the major food supermarkets have boycotted this cruel product, it would be good to persuade those restaurants that shamefully still serve it to follow suit.

I would not personally eat at a restaurant that has foie gras on the menu. If others do likewise, then foie gras will soon be boycotted by restaurants throughout the country.

I Foster, Pasture House, Coxwold, York.