Victory! Foie Gras is Officially Banned in California

Animal advocates are celebrating a major victory for ducks after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the foie gras industry’s latest challenge to California’s ban.

It’s a big win for those who have long†opposed†this product of cruelty, arguing its production is unquestionably inhumane and causes needless suffering for the birds used to make it.

Foie gras, which is French for “fatty liver,” involves force-feeding restrained birds by shoving metal pipes down their throats multiple times a day, called gavage, and pumping them full of grain, or corn and fat, which leads to acute hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease. This in turn leaves ducks suffering with malfunctioning livers that are ten times their normal size, among other health problems that leave many unable to even breathe normally, or just stand and move around.

Fortunately, the practice is considered so†inhumane†that it’s already been banned in a dozen countries, while several others have a ban on force-feeding, and even though there has been a lot of opposition in the U.S, coupled with a lot of lawsuits, California took the lead over a decade ago by banning it in response to public outcry over the cruel method used to farm birds who are raised and killed for foie gras.

The ban was first passed back in 2004 when then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that banned force feeding birds, along with the sale of foie gras in the state that’s produced by force feeding.

The ban finally went into effect in 2012, but after it was challenged by producers and chefs it was overturned in 2015, putting foie gras back on the menu.

Fortunately, in 2017 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California was well within its right to reject a product that causes animals to suffer, but two out-of-state producers and a Los Angeles area restaurant group were allowed to petition the Supreme Court to take up the case.

Now, animal advocates are celebrating another landmark win after the Supreme Court shut down the industry’s latest attempt to overturn the ban by denying the petition, which means the state’s ban on foie gras is in full effect and anyone found breaking the law could be fined up to $1,000.

“The Animal Legal Defense Fund celebrates the death knell for the foie gras industry’s long crusade against California’s landmark law,” said Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The suffering ducks endure to produce foie gras is intolerable and rightfully outlawed.”

It’s hoped that by closing its doors to this product, California will help save the lives of hundreds of ducks who would have otherwise been raised and killed for this so-called delicacy. The ALDF has pledged to work towards ensuring the law is followed, and will now be taking legal action against a La Toque, a restaurant that had previously skirted the ban by giving away foie gras to its customers.

Photo credit: Getty Images

66 comments

Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D2 days ago

Thrilled it's banned in California but it should be banned everywhere.

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Pietro Maiorana
Pietro Maiorana3 days ago

Vittoria giusta!!

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R8 days ago

Lead the way California! Thank you for posting.

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Emma L
Emma L9 days ago

Thank you

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Izorie Irvin
Izorie Irvin9 days ago

Amen, Thanks 4 sharing...

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Michael Friedmann

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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Mely Lu
Mely L10 days ago

Great news.

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Promise Mike
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Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege11 days ago

Great news butt it should be banned everywhere. I can't understand the French.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O11 days ago

th

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