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New York City Council votes to ban selling foie gras

The New York City Council voted Wednesday to pass a bill banning the sale of foie gras — the fattened liver of a duck — served in fine restaurants and gourmet groceries across the city.

Council members in favor of the bill said that producing the traditional French delicacy involves animal cruelty, because it requires force-feeding a bird through a tube pushed down its throat. Selling foie gras in New York City will be illegal starting in 2022.

The ban could mean trouble for two farms outside the city that are premier U.S. producers of foie gras, with New York as their prime market: Hudson Valley Foie Gras and nearby La Belle Farm. Together, they raise about 350,000 birds for foie gras each year. The owners said they may have to close, with hundreds of mostly immigrant workers losing their jobs.

The measure imposes a fine of up to $2,000 for violating the law. An earlier proposed penalty of up to one year behind bars has been eliminated.

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