How Local Organizations Are Putting an End to Foie Gras After Banning in NYC

Foie gras, otherwise known as fatty liver, is a product offered in restaurants, food establishments, and grocery stores. The product is from the liver of ducks that are force-fed. Foie gras is produced in the U.S. and other countries such as France and Norway.

How Foie Gras is Made

The product is made from force-feeding young ducks until their liver reaches the required size, which is usually more than 8 times the normal size. Ducks reared in farms for the production of the delicacy are force-fed with a metal tube that is shoved down their throats.

Birds reared for the production of the delicacy are typically subjected to inhumane practices with the end goal of getting largely fattened livers. Large quantities of food are pumped into their stomachs and they are kept in pens that could hold a large number of birds. The ducks could thus fall sick and die rather painfully.

When ducks are force-fed to enlarge their livers, their sizes increase to a point where their feet can no longer support them, leading to suffering and disease. The inhumane nature of how these animals are treated for commercial purposes has become more concerning over the years. Researchers have noted that humans tend to not recognize the unfair treatment of birds because they are not closely associated with them.


the Tide

The attention of local organizations has been drawn to the way ducks have been treated.  Notable activities in the fight against the production and sale of foie gras include suits filed against the applicable bodies in regards to the sale and production of adulterated and diseased poultry, in addition to the inhumane treatment.

Efforts towards the ban of the product led to the ban in California and drew the attention of the authorities to the issue. On October 30th, 2019, activists in New York City achieved a major win when legislation to ban the production and sale of foie gras was introduced. The ban is to be effective from 2022, and fines will be levied on organizations that do not abide by the ban.

Even with the ban that will be effective starting in 2022, the U.S. is still a long way away from the standard which is a complete ban on this product of animal cruelty. Thus, the efforts of local organizations are still focused on the complete ban of the sale, production, and import of foie gras.

Although the producers of foie gras argue that the birds are not tortured and that their anatomy allows force-feeding with minimal torture, it is hard to completely deny the inhumane processes associated with the production of foie gras since they require the birds’ livers to grow to unnatural sizes. Local organizations are still working towards the complete abolition of this inhumane product.

The fight against foie gras is aimed at ending animal cruelty as well as the public health implication of such products. The ban against foie gras in NYC is an indication of more wins that would be achieved by local organizations in the near future.