Talks over game meat dinners deal at Royal Free Hospital

PETA says healthy vegan choices should be promoted

Thursday, 21st April — By Tom Foot

credit; Tony 12994391844_db6f833ef7_c

The game meat industry sells pheasant [Tony]

HOSPITAL staff could be feasting on pheasant, partridge and venison as part of a game meat trial at the Royal Free.

A collaboration between six NHS hospitals and the British Game Assurance (BGA) lobby group was announced in the House of Commons by an MP.

The Free said yesterday (Wednesday) it had not signed any contracts but talks had begun about introducing a new menu at the hospital. Game boasts an intensely meaty taste and is said to be nutritionally superior, but animal welfare activists say hunts are cruel.

Elisa Allen, director of People for Ethical Treatment for the Animals (PETA), told the New Journal that hospitals should not help “wild bird killers gain respectability”.

She added: “Many of the birds these callous people blast out of the sky sustain painful injuries and take a long time to die or are killed when a hunter wrings their neck, decapitates them, and disembowels them before they are dished up.”

She added: “Hospitals should stop plating animal-derived foods altogether and provide a fully vegan menu that could save the NHS more than £30billion a year, improve patient recovery, prevent animal suffering and help fight the climate catastrophe. “That’s a win-win-win-win.”

Before Christmas the Royal Free said it planned to introduce meat-free days for staff and visitors this year as part of a series of environmental commit­ments.

The BGA, however, says the industry is well regulated and there is no evidence of significant ethical issues relating to game production. Buckingham MP Greg Smith, a Conservative, told the House of Commons last month that “news of six NHS hospitals set to trial pheasant, partridge and venison on their menus is extremely welcome”.

A Royal Free spokesperson said talks were at such an early stage it was too soon to comment.

Related Articles