After Being Enacted in California, a Foie Gras Ban Threatens New York

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A new battle between opponents and defenders of foie gras is beginning in New York. Carlina Rivera, Democratic representative of the 2nd Council District in Lower Manhattan, has introduced a bill to ban the sale of foie gras. The text is currently under consideration by the municipal council. No voting date has been set at this time.

The target: the force-feeding process considered inhumane and cruel that New York has “tolerated” for “far too long,” according to the elected official, interviewed in The New York Post. “Less than one percent of all New York restaurants serve it. It is truly a luxury good”.

This is not the first time the debate has broken out in New York. In 2008, a municipal elected official asked the State Senate to legislate a ban on the practice of force-feeding geese and ducks.

The current proposal, which comes just a few weeks after the ban on foie gras in California, includes fines of up to $1,000 and even a year in prison for offenders.

Not ones to sit back, foie gras industry professionals are getting busy. Ariane Daguin, CEO and founder of D’Artagnan Foods, has been circulating a letter to several New York restaurateurs and chefs associations since Monday, calling on them to mobilize and protest against the accusation of inhuman treatment of animals. She further writes that “any ban on this will set a dangerous precedent for banning the consumption of all meat.”

On Tuesday morning, Daguin told French Morning by phone that she was “a little less worried” than the day before: “There will be a major backlash from the chiefs,” she predicted. “I’m still worried because New York is an important market. But we’re taking action and we have to keep going. We have a lobbyist who will do whatever he can.”