New York City Council Bans Sale of Foie Gras in Historic Vote

The Animal Legal Defense Fund applauds Speaker Corey Johnson and the New York City Council for voting to end the sale of foie gras in the city. Intro 1378, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, now moves to Mayor de Blasio, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Foie gras is a cruelly-produced “gourmet” delicacy that comes from force-feeding young ducks and geese until their livers swell to up to eight times their natural size. Ducks and geese raised for foie gras endure painful force-feedings several times a day where a thick pipe is rammed down their throats. These birds frequently develop painful punctures in their beak and throat, and many cannot move normally — becoming too heavy for their legs to hold them.

“Birds used to produce foie gras suffer terribly and needlessly,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Today’s landmark vote heralds a more compassionate New York City and sends a clear signal to the cruel foie gras industry that its days are numbered.”

New York City joins California in banning the sale of foie gras along with numerous businesses including Whole Foods Market, Costco, Safeway, and Target. After California enacted its ban, the foie gras industry launched a lengthy campaign to overturn it both in the legislature and the courts. The Animal Legal Defense Fund successfully defended the law — filing numerous amicus briefs in the six-plus years of litigation.

In addition to banning the sale of foie gras, among the twelve measures included in the animal protection bill package are strengthened protections for carriage horses forced to work in extreme heat, the creation of a Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare, and tougher penalties for capturing wild birds.

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