YOUR article on the council foie gras debate made no reference to those who did not vote to ban fois gras (Council takes foie gras off the menu, The Press, October 5, and Man under fire, Letters, October 8).

I do not eat foie gras, my partner is a vegetarian, the rest of the family eat only free range or outdoor reared organic meat. So a motion on animal welfare issues should be for me?

What people dislike most about politicians is posturing. How many UK ducks and geese will be saved by York council undertaking not to procure or sell foie gras? None. The UK does not produce foie gras and the council has never bought or sold foie gras.

Were we focusing on stuff produced in another country because animal welfare is perfect in the UK? No. Many would argue that intensive farming in the UK raises many animal welfare issues.

The British Egg Marketing Board is currently campaigning to delay the EU legislation that will ban battery cages in 2012.

I offered Coun Blanchard that if he amended his motion to include a request that the Government show a commitment to enforce the EU ban on battery cages, then I would support him.

A clear commitment from our Government on this issue would have a direct impact on the animal welfare of tens of millions of hens in the UK. I received no answer.

"We have to start somewhere, " was the only response to my comments at full council. How convenient that the "somewhere" we have to start at doesn't involve changing anything in this country, but in pointing the finger at someone else's faults. Just the kind of commitment to action this Government excels at.

Leadership is by example. People respect those who put their own house in order. I abstained because this foie gras motion was nothing other than gesture politics.

Coun Christian Vassie, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York.

  • I AM sure that many of your readers are fed up with hearing about foie gras at the moment but I felt that I had to write in to say how pleased and proud I am that the City of York Councillors voted last night to formally condemn foie gras and to ban the council from buying or selling this vile product.

I salute Coun Blanchard for his brave and determined approach to this issue and my fellow councillors for voting in favour of the ban. I know that this is a small step, but it is in the right direction.

I now look forward to more councils in the UK following our stance to end this particularly cruel treatment of innocent creatures.

I hasten to add that I am not a vegetarian and have no intention of becoming one. However, I do buy compassionately farmed products, but in the case of foie gras, there is no compassionate way to produce it.

Coun Sonja Crisp, Emperors Wharf, Skeldergate, York.