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

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

Yesterday, 14:00
Memories of 1914-1918 a show devised and performed by Lee Montague and friends in support of Keats Library Michael Palin pictured with Lee Montague and Robert Powell

Tales of local life during the First World War helped to light up a star-studded Remembrance event.

Yesterday, 09:00
Nicholas Lyndhurst and Tamzin Outhwaite pose with Lauderdale House staff members after filming in Waterlow Park

Stars of a TV detective series took time out of filming in Highgate to help a historic house’s fundraising campaign.

Fri, 16:09
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Fri, 15:51
Thieves attempted to steal a cash point machine from Highgate Post Office in Archway Road in the early hours of this morning.

Thieves attempted to steal a cash point machine from a post office in Highgate in the early hours of this morning.

Most read news

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Digital Edition

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