Sale of foie gras banned in New York after Mayor Bill de Blasio signs anti-cruelty bill

The luxury food was banned over animal cruelty concerns since it is made by enlarging a duck's liver through force-feeding.


                            Sale of foie gras banned in New York after Mayor Bill de Blasio signs anti-cruelty bill
(Source: Getty Images)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed a historic anti-cruelty bill into law banning the sale of foie gras in restaurants and grocery stores becoming the largest city in the world to do so.

The law takes effect in 2022. The bill, spearheaded by Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Carlina Rivera, who also sponsored the bill, met with a 42-6 council vote for the final version of the bill that could cost $2,000 for each violation. The bill had 30 co-sponsors from both political parties. 

It was also backed by 50 not-for-profit organizations, led by Voters for Animal Rights. The luxury food was banned over animal cruelty concerns since it is made by enlarging a duck's liver through force-feeding. At present, approximately 1.5 percent of eateries in New York serve foie gras. According to a survey conducted by Mason-Dixon, 78 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of independents support the sales prohibition.

Ducks in the foie gras industry suffer immensely from ruptured organs, esophagus trauma, broken bones, illnesses, and diseases as a result of having a foot-long pipe shoved down their throats and a large mass of food injected into their delicate digestive system several times a day for weeks, said Voters for Animal Rights in a statement to MEA WorldWide. The liver of the bird swells up to 10 times than that of a healthy one. 

"We're thrilled that New York City is now the largest city in the world to protect ducks and geese from the abusive foie gras industry," said Allie Feldman Taylor, President of Voters for Animal Rights.

"New York has sent a clear message to foie gras producers that shoving a pipe down a duck’s throat and force-feeding them grain for the sole purpose of diseasing and enlarging their liver to ten times its normal size is cruel and has no place in our compassionate city."

The fattened liver has been considered a culinary delicacy for centuries and the ban would impact New York State foie gras producers Hudson Valley, La Belle, and D’Artagnan. 

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