California Supreme Court Rejects Napa Restaurant’s Attempts to Flout Foie Gras Ban

Posted on June 11, 2015

Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Challenge to La Toque’s Violations Moves Forward

For immediate release:

Contact: Nicole Roth, Animal Legal Defense Fund

white-duck-cc-hans-splinter-220pxSAN FRANCISCO — Yesterday, the Supreme Court of California rejected the Napa restaurant La Toque’s attempt to circumvent the state’s ban on selling foie gras. La Toque argued that a lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund should be dismissed because the restaurant was merely “giving away” the so-called delicacy. The California Court of Appeal roundly rejected that claim in March, holding that ALDF is likely to succeed in its claims that La Toque is illegally selling foie gras by providing it to paying customers. Today, the Supreme Court of California denied La Toque’s petition for review, letting stand the appellate court’s decision and allowing for the case against La Toque to proceed.

Foie gras is made by force-feeding young ducks until their livers balloon eight or more times their natural size, then slaughtering them for these diseased livers. The ban, which went into effect in 2012, was spurred by evidence of force-fed ducks in Sonoma who were fattened so inhumanely they could not escape being eaten alive by rats in dark, filthy pens. Despite the state ban, ALDF’s undercover investigations have revealed that La Toque routinely sells foie gras, the enlarged livers of force-fed birds, in clear violation of California Health and Safety Code § 25982.

The case will now be remanded for further proceedings before the state trial court, where ALDF will ask for attorneys’ fees for defending against La Toque’s frivolous motion for two years, and press for a court order prohibiting additional foie gras sales. Although a federal judge ruled the state ban on foie gras to be unconstitutional earlier this year, that ruling is likely to be reversed on appeal and does not bind state courts.

“Today’s decision shows that La Toque’s violation of animal protection laws is frivolous and without legal merit,” said Stephen Wells, ALDF’s executive director. “La Toque’s sales of foie gras contribute to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of birds.”

Copies of the lawsuit are available by request.

15 thoughts on “California Supreme Court Rejects Napa Restaurant’s Attempts to Flout Foie Gras Ban

  1. Cynthia mccreery says:

    Stop this horrible act.

  2. ellen says:


  3. Elizabeth Herrera says:

    Force feeding ducks is cruel. It shouldn’t take place.

  4. Amy sanders says:


  5. Rena says:

    I only believe it if the law prohibit foie grass ban when this is immediately banned This law must be enforced with intermediately effect Only talking has brings no change.

  6. klara lipton says:

    Some of us have had ducks and chickens as pets. Leave these poor animals alone. They are smart, know their names. No foie Gras EVER.

  7. Elvira Summers says:

    I cannot imagine these poor birds in overcrowded, dark, filthy cages being over fed with a steep tube. Who would do such cruel acts? I wished all consumers of these diseased livers were forced to first watch a video of this abuse. Perhaps, it would spoil their appetite of this so called delicacy. Get real people!

    1. Jasmine Vaught says:

      I wish this as well, however I would put money on the the fact that they still would NOT CARE? Some people have no heart, empathy, or caring. I guess they think their money or whatever, allow’s them the privilege to eat whatever they want without any concern for the pain and suffering it causes others. SAD BUT TRUE AND THERE ARE MORE AND MORE OF THEM COMING OUT TO TOOT THEIR HARDENED HEARTS.

  8. azriel says:

    Stop this brutality NOW, Id love to push food thru your throat till you suffocate & die in one of the most horrible ways there are. And no doubt there will be a huge uproar of HUMAN disgust ! Well, IM disgusted in the cruelty humans inflict !

  9. Lucere Whitney says:

    This is such a waste!!! Please stop!

  10. Lucere Whitney says:

    Cruelty!!! Shameful…

  11. Deb Harcourt says:

    This is disgusting and cruel. Please stop this now.

  12. robyn says:

    Happy that ducks and geese may soon be free of the torture and death involved in the production of foie gras.

  13. Heli Juarez says:

    Stop this

  14. Morgan Kanae says:

    As a resident for years. I went to CIA in St Helena.
    Not one of us would touch the stuff. Disgusting!
    In fact more chef’s are miving to vegetarian and vegan foods as it’s much more delicious, healthier and does not cause harm.
    This is so gross. I am so ashamed of this restutaunt and the owner. It seems like a place of complete gluttony and entitlement. Be careful. You’re known now and your customers know you are disgusting.

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