New York City To Vote On Banning Foie Gras

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New York City to vote on banning foie gras Credit: Shutterstock


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CITY COUNCIL members are expected to pass a bill today (Wednesday) that bans the sale of fattened liver of a duck at restaurants, grocery stores or shops.

The bill has been signed by the majority of council members. The bill also has the support of animal welfare advocates and other critics who say producing it involved force-feeding the birds.

To produce “foie gras” (the French term means “fatty liver”), workers need to stick pipes down the throats of male ducks twice each day, forecfeeding the birds with grain and fat, a process known as “gavage.” The force-feeding causes the birds’ livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Many birds have difficulty standing because their engorged livers distend their abdomens, and theyoften tear out their own feathers and attack each other out of stress.

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The bill would impose a 1,000 dollar (£775) fine and up to one year behind bars on any restaurateur or grocery store owner who sells foie gras.

New York City would not be the first place in the United States to ban the food, California took a similar measure in 2012 while Chicago banned foie gras in 2006 but the ordinance was revoked two years later.

Other animal-friendly bills are also expected to be approved at Wednesday’s meeting, including a bill prohibiting carriage horses from working in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32C) and a ban on the sale, capture or possession of pigeons.

The passing of the bill will impact negatively on the farms outside the city that are prime US producers of the French delicacy.

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