Great news for all animal lovers! California has restored their ban on selling foie gras in stores and restaurants.
According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): “The United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit has rightly held that California’s foie gras ban was preempted by federal law, thereby reinstating the law that prohibits selling the diseased livers of birds who were overfed forcibly through a tube that was rammed down their throats.”
Back in 2004, the state Legislature agreed to ban the sale of foie gras. After the ban became official, many restaurants, chefs and even poultry producer Hudson Foie Gras sued the state in 2012, feeling like it was forestalled by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA). And then in 2015, a federal judge agreed to rescind the ban.
However, many judges were against the law repeal. Ninth Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen wrote: “Nothing in the federal law or its implementing regulations limits a state’s ability to regulate the types of poultry that may be sold for human consumption.”
In addition, during a hearing last week, Judge Harry Pregerson, a member of the three-judge panel hearing the case, noted that foie gras production is “absolutely cruel.” It would be silly for anyone to refute this statement because overfeeding a bird by sticking tubes down their throats screams nothing less than cruelty.
“[T]hey’re treated cruelly,” Pregerson said regarding how birds are raised for foie gras. “You have to open their mouths, you stuff a device all the way down their throats – jam it in – so that if affects their livers. Their livers become bloated.”
Despite these cruel practices, it’s good news for animal advocates in California and beyond; despite after all of the controversy, animal rights activists won and you soon shouldn’t see a single plate of foie gras at a restaurant table anymore. We hope other states will follow California’s lead.