Foie Gras Is Back on the Menu in California

California just took a step backwards for animals used in agriculture this week when a federal judge overturned†the state’s ban on foie gras, putting the otherwise known “delicacy of despair” back on the menu …at least for now.

The full ban on the production, importation and sale of foie gras in California went into effect in 2012 and was a huge victory for animals, but it has been controversial since the battle started to keep it out of the state.

Animal advocates have long opposed foie gras, arguing its production is unarguably inhumane and causes needless suffering to the birds used to produce it. Foie gras production involves force-feeding restrained ducks and geese by putting a tube down their throats and pumping food directly into their stomachs. The process causes their livers to grow way beyond their normal size, which leads to liver disease thatís formally known as hepatic lipidosis, as well as other health problems.

Despite being a common-sense law protecting ducks and geese from the cruelty inherent in its production, it has been continuously opposed by diners and challenged by chefs and producers.

Industry supporters were given seven years to find another way to produce foie gras, but they came up empty. Still, just a day after the law went into effect, Hot’s Restaurant Group, based in California;†Hudson Valley Foie Gras,†a producer based in New York;†and the Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec shamelessly sued to overturn it.

The courts have ruled against them twice already, but this week brought a disappointing turn of events for ducks and geese, who continue to be tortured to make this delicacy, and a victory for foie gras†supporters, who unfortunately won this round in court.

This week U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson struck down the ban, ruling that it was unconstitutional because it interfered with the Poultry Products Inspections Act, which is a federal law that regulates the sale and distribution of poultry products and stops states from imposing conditions on production.

While some are reportedly celebrating this news and restaurants are preparing to offer it up to their customers again animal advocacy groups, however, aren’t going to accept this†loss. In a joint statement, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society of the United States both vowed to appeal the decision, stating:

The state clearly has the right to ban the sale of the products of animal cruelty, and we expect the 9th Circuit will uphold this law, as it did in the previous round of litigation. We are asking the California Attorney General to file an immediate appeal.

The state does have the authority to keep the law in place while the Attorney General’s office appeals. According to the LA Times, a spokesman for the Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office said the case was currently under review.

TAKE ACTION!

Please sign and share the petition urging officials in California to act on behalf of both animals and residents who should have the right to reject products that cause suffering by intervening to keep this law in place.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

318 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Melania Padilla
Melania P1 years ago

Signed days ago, thanks

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Melania Padilla
Melania P1 years ago

Shame! Signed and shared

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Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege2 years ago

Signed again. Will this ever end?

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Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

Remember these groups:

Hot’s Restaurant Group
Hudson Valley Foie Gras
the Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec

They are nothing less than terrorist groups and should be treated as terrorists.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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