New York passes legislation to ban foie gras by 2022
New York city- known as the culinary capital of the world has passed a law to stop the cruel foie gras industry in its tracks. The New York City Council voted Wednesday to ban the sale of the French delicacy which will come into effect on October 2022. Lawmakers ruled that its cruel to force-feed ducks and geese to fatten their livers for human consumption. Intro 1378A is a citywide ban of the sale of force fed products [foie gras] so that no retail food establishment is permitted to sell, serve or possess foie gras. The law was voted in at 42 votes to 6.
Foie gras is a process where ducks and geese are force-fed when workers shove pipes down the throats of male ducks twice each day, pumping up to 2.2 pounds of grain and fat into their stomachs, or for geese three times a day and up to 4 pounds daily, in a process known as “gavage.” The force-feeding causes the birds’ livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Many birds have difficulty standing because their engorged livers distend their abdomens, and they may tear out their own feathers and attack each other out of stress.
The birds can suffer greatly such as damage to the esophagus, fungal infections, diarrhea, impaired liver function, heat stress, lesions, and fractures of the sternum. Some ducks die of aspiration pneumonia, which occurs when grain is forced into the ducks’ lungs or when birds choke on their own vomit. In one study, birds force-fed for foie gras had a mortality rate up to 20 times more than the control group of birds who were not force-fed.
Despite this, foie gras farmers claim the practice is not cruel and activists have exaggerated suffering. Opponents dispute and say the use of a feeding tube is inhumane. The production of foie gras is banned in several countries including Britain.
Once the law comes into effect, offenders could be fined $500-$1000 for each offence.