New York City Council moves to ban foie gras, starting in 2022

31st October 2019 

Move comes after mounting criticism of the ‘inhumane’ method of production involving force-feeding.

The New York City Council passed a bill on Wednesday banning the sale of foie gras which will come into effect in 2022. The office of the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, confirmed to CNN that he will be signing the bill into law.

The production of foie gras has long stirred controversy over the widespread practice of force-feeding ducks or geese. The delicacy is made from fattened goose or duck liver.

Councilwoman Carlina Rivera commented “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.”

It is being envisioned that a civic penalty upwards of $2,000 would be imposed for violating the ban.

While some have applauded the move, the dish has also been defended. Producers argue that the process is not abusive, as has been shown on videos depicting the force-feeding of animals. Defenders argue that ducks stuff themselves with food as part of their migratory journeys, thereby arguing that they do not suffer when being force-fed. It is also said that ducks swallow their food whole, and that their esophagi are stretchable.

In 2012, eight Members of European Parliament called for a ban on the dish however this did not receive widespread support. In France, the dish is a delicacy and French law states that "Foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France."

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New York City Council moves to ban foie gras, starting in 2022