Could Foie Gras Be Banned in New York City?
We’ve been following the saga of California trying to ban foie gras—the first state to successfully do so—for years. The state first passed a law in 2004 that banned “force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size,” which went into effect in 2012. While the law's standing fluctuates due to appeals and court rulings, it is currently enforced—even Amazon won't be selling foie gras in the state for the next five years. The decision was solidified when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal opposing the bill last month—and if a new bill passes, New York City might not be far behind.
Last week, Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who represents the second district in the New York City Council, proposed a bill that bans selling foie gras in the city on the grounds of animal cruelty, reports the New York Post. If the bill is passed and vendors continue to sell foie gras, they’ll pay up to $1,000 in fines and spend a year in jail “for each offense.”
“[Foie Gras] is not part of the diet of everyday New Yorkers,” Rivera told The Post. “Less than 1 percent of all New York City restaurants serve it. This is truly a luxury item.”
It’s worth noting that Chicago also had a temporary ban on foie gras, which went into effect in 2006 but was repealed only two years later—whether New York City’s bill will pass and stay in effect, or face a battle similar to California, remains to be seen. Rivera also told the Post that “New York City has a long history of opposing animal cruelty, [yet] there are few factory farming practices crueler.”
The bill still needs to go through review, both with the Council Speaker and the Mayor's office, according to the Post.