New York City expected to pass bill banning foie gras

The bill would impose a $1,000 fine and up to one year behind bars on any restaurateur or grocery store owner who sells foie gras.
Image: Ducks are caged at the Hudson Valley Foie Gras duck farm in Ferndale, N.Y., on July 18, 2019.
Ducks are caged at the Hudson Valley Foie Gras duck farm in Ferndale, N.Y., on July 18, 2019.Bebeto Matthews / AP file

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By The Associated Press

The sale of foie gras in New York City, perhaps already a faux pas, is now likely to become illegal.

City council members on Wednesday are expected to pass a bill that bans the sale of fattened liver of a duck or goose at restaurants, grocery stores or shops.

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A majority of council members have signed on to the bill, which also has the support of animal welfare advocates and other critics who say producing it involves force-feeding a bird by sticking a tube down its throat.

Farmers who produce foie gras say the birds are treated humanely and don't suffer during the fattening process.

Vendors say the bill could mean trouble for farms outside the city that are premier U.S. producers of the French delicacy.

The bill would impose a $1,000 fine and up to one year behind bars on any restaurateur or grocery store owner who sells foie gras.

California banned the delicacy in 2012. It was challenged in federal court, but a federal appeals court eventually upheld the ban. Chicago banned foie gras in 2006, but the ordinance was repealed two years later.

Other animal-friendly bills are also expected to be approved at Wednesday's meeting, including a bill prohibiting carriage horses from working in temperatures above 90 degrees and a ban on the sale, capture or possession of pigeons.