New York City Banning Foie Gras in Restaurants and Grocery Stores Over Concerns of Animal Cruelty
New York City will soon join California in banning foie gras, the French delicacy that has become controversial due to its method of preparation.
According to CNN, a bill to ban foie gras from being sold in restaurants and grocery stores was passed by the New York City Council on Wednesday. The outlet also confirmed that the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio will soon sign the bill into a law.
The New York Times reports that the ban will go into effect in 2022.
Foie gras is a specialty food made out of the fattened liver of a duck or a goose. According to CNN, the dish is prepared by force-feeding the animal in order to fatten up its liver, which many see as a form of animal cruelty. The Times reported that the force-feeding process requires tubes to be inserted in the duck’s throat for 20 days. The animal’s liver reportedly swells up to 10 times bigger than its normal size, and the ducks can sometimes become too big to walk or breathe.
In a statement to CNN, New York City councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who was the prime sponsor of the bill, called force-feeding “inhumane.”
“As a lifelong advocate for animal rights, I am excited that the Council has voted to pass this historic legislation to ban the sale of these specific force-fed animal products,” Rivera said, according to CNN.
New York City is only the latest place to pass a foie gras ban.
According to CNN, California passed a ban in 2012, but it was overturned three years later. In 2017, the ban was upheld by a circuit court judge and the Supreme Court backed the decision by declining to take up the case earlier this year.
In 2006, Chicago’s city council also passed a ban, but it was lifted two years later, CNN reported.
Not everyone agrees that preparing foie gras is a form of animal cruelty. According to the Times, foie gras farmers have fought back against the claims, and one chef expressed his outrage to the newspaper.
“New York is the mecca of dining in the world. How is it possible that New York doesn’t have foie gras?” Marco Moreira, the executive chef and owner of a French restaurant in the city, said. “What’s next? No more veal? No more mushrooms?”