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Monday, 29 May, 2000, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Duke's boycott over 'cruel' paté
Jenners is Edinburgh's most prestigious store
A Scottish aristocrat and his wife are boycotting a top department store which has refused to stop selling paté de foie gras.

The Duke and Duchess of Hamilton are angry at the decision by Jenners, in Edinburgh's Princes Street, to continue stocking the luxury food, which is made from the livers of force-fed geese and ducks.

The couple, who support animal rights, have been customers of Jenners for 30 years and wrote to the managing director, Andrew Douglas Miller, asking for the paté to be removed.

Duke and Duchess of Hamilton
The duke and duchess are animal lovers
The duchess said she had held an account with the store for the last three years.

"I don't particularly want to shop in any store that serves pate de fois gras. I feel it is something everybody ought to give up," she said.

"After receiving this response I have now sent my card back to them. I have withdrawn all my support from Jenners.

"We won't go back until they stop serving pate de fois gras. It is obtained under very cruel conditions and I think it should be withdrawn from all shops and restaurants which stock it."

In a reply to the duke and duchess, Mr Douglas-Millar, wrote: "I do note your views, but believe that Jenners' job is to provide a service for all our customers.

"As long as demand exists for this, or indeed any product, by our valued customers, we feel we have an obligation to continue to make it available in our range of merchandise."

Force-fed goose
Geese are force-fed to produce the pate
The duchess is a member of the Edinburgh-based animal welfare charity, Advocates for Animals, which has launched a campaign asking shops and restaurants to remove paté de fois gras from their stocks.

The movement's director, Les Ward, said: "I am absolutely delighted but not surprised that the duchess has withdrawn her custom from Jenners.

"Most decent people would not buy this cruelly-produced food in the first place.

"I would hope that those who are now aware of the amount of suffering that ducks and geese go through will not tolerate shops and restaurants which sell it.

"As for Jenners' response that they will continue to stock it as long as customers ask for it, that is a nonsense argument because they stopped selling fur coats a few years ago and I am sure customers were still asking for those."

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