Search

‘My foie gras is ethical’, insists new celeb Primrose Hill butcher Jack O’Shea

17:00 24 July 2014

Butcher Jack O

Butcher Jack O'Shea will sell foie gras at his new shop in Primrose Hill

Archant

It’s been top of their “most wanted” list for years, but news that a butcher’s is finally opening in Primrose Hill has not gone down well with all its residents.

Butcher Jack O’Shea, who provides meat to some of the most exclusive restaurants and celebrity chefs, revealed he will be opening his “old-school style butchering shop” on the site of the old Gale Furs clothes shop in Regent’s Park Road next month.

No stranger to controversy, Mr O’Shea made headlines in 2011 for selling under-the-counter foie gras to customers in Selfridges, Oxford Street.

Foie gras is made by force-feeding geese or ducks to fatten up their livers, and his actions led him to be sacked by Selfridges and receive threats from animal rights activists.

Sticking to his guns, and branding his opponents “hypocrites”, Mr O’Shea revealed his Primrose Hill store will be selling the delicacy – and that residents can feel “guilt-free” about eating it.

He told the Ham&High: “I’m not here to fight but to educate.

“I’m here to say, ‘if you’re happy eating meat, you can eat my foie gras guilt-free’.

“The geese and ducks I use spend their entire lives living a wonderful, free-range existence.

“All my butcher shops run on the premise that you get bad fruit from a badly nurtured tree.

“When I was growing up, abattoirs were medieval. But things are different now.

“The force-feeding is pneumatic and takes only two seconds.

“If people don’t have a problem with eating meat, they shouldn’t have a problem eating my foie gras.”

While it is legal to import foie gras, production is banned in the UK and throughout much of Europe. Mr O’Shea sources his from the south of France, where it is still legal to farm.

But the claim foie gras is ethical wasn’t swallowed by everyone.

Meg Matthews, activist for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Primrose Hill resident, said: “As a butcher, Mr O’Shea has a vested interest in covering up cruelty, but there is quite simply no ‘humane’ way to produce foie gras.

“Force-feeding has been condemned by top avian experts, leading veterinarians and the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare.

“He should be wary of false advertising claims or he may find his own neck in the noose.”

Fellow animal rights campaigner and Hampstead resident Angela Humphery added her voice to calls for residents to boycott the new shop, saying: “For him to say that it takes ‘only two seconds’ to force-feed the geese is enough to make me gag!”

Mr O’Shea, who is in the middle of making a new film about the ethics of foie gras, accused campaigners of spreading falsehoods.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

12:52
Police are moving the demo to Westminster.

A planned anti-Semitic demonstration set to take place in Golders Green on Saturday has been moved to Westminster by police to keep Jewish residents safe.

Glenda Jackson is to return to acting

Former Hampstead and Kilburn MP and Oscar-winning actress Glenda Jackson is to return to acting months after quitting politics.

12:36
Children enjoy the fairground rides. Picture: Dieter Perry

Thousands of revellers enjoyed the sunny weather on Saturday as they gathered for the annual Primrose Hill Summer Fair.

08:00
Proposed designs for the new Hampstead School teaching block

A major redevelopment of a Camden secondary school has been given the green light to provide pupils with state-of-the-art teaching and sports facilities.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder