Lonely Planet Writer

Foie gras is off the menu in France this summer but it's just for three months

For lovers of foie gras it’s going to be a very disappointing summer, as France has just introduced a three month ban on its production.

Foie gras has been banned for three months
Foie gras has been banned for three months Image by Ricardo

Unlike what some might be presumed as a reason for the ban, it is not animal cruelty that has led to the French pausing the production of one of its most famous exports.

The prohibition has been set in place after reports of a case of the H5N1 virus in a chicken farm near the region where the geese are kept.

Foie gras making a comeback in California.
Foie gras making a comeback in California. Image by Ville Oksanen / CC BY-SA 2.0

France produces 75% of the world’s foie gras, which is considered a delicacy and a popular export, turning it into an industry that is worth an enormous €2 billion to France.

Foie gras has always been a controversial product, given the process of force feeding the geese to make the meat particularly rich and fat. But on average the French themselves spend €29 every year on foie gras.

So sadly for holiday makers this summer heading to France, there may be limited amounts of foie gras on the menu!