(ANIMAL WELFARE/ANIMAL NEWS) A California ban on a cruel dish known as foie gras was upheld thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal by the foie gras industry attacking the state law’s constitutionality.
The public has been able to order the French delicacy in California since 2015, after the U.S. District Court overturned a law enacted in 2012 banning restaurants from serving the gourmet item.
The issue has been a hot debate in courts since lawmakers barred the fatty liver pâté’s production in 2004 because of the explicitly cruel way that it’s produced (by inhumanely force-feeding ducks and geese).
Read on to learn more about the law and its 15-year history. — Global Animal
World Animal News
Today, in a landmark moment for ducks, the Supreme Court of the United States denied the foie gras industry’s petition attacking the constitutionality of California’s unique law banning the sale of foie gras. As a result of the high court’s decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ mandate went into immediate effect, prohibiting the cruel product from being sold in the Golden State.
The Supreme Court’s action concludes foie gras proponents’ 15-year crusade against the California animal welfare measure; a battle waged first in the legislature and then the courts.
“The Animal Legal Defense Fund celebrates the death knell for the foie gras industry’s long crusade against California’s landmark law,” Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells said in a statement. “The suffering ducks endure to produce foie gras is intolerable and rightfully outlawed.”
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is committed to ensuring the California law is followed, and to pursuing any restaurant or seller who would flout it.
The organization will also now resume its legal action against La Toque, a Napa restaurant that purported to “give away” foie gras to skirt the ban, a stunt the California Court of Appeals deemed unlawful.
The group has long campaigned against foie gras, a product made through animal torture. Together with a coalition of animal protection organizations, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed numerous amicus briefs in the six-plus years of litigation, urging courts to uphold the law.
Foie gras’ disappearance from California restaurant menus and purveyors’ shelves is likely to spare thousands of ducks from terrible suffering at foie gras production facilities. Foie gras producers force-feed the birds until their livers swell to many times their normal size, inducing hepatic lipidosis, a painful and often fatal disease.