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In yet another victory for animals, the Supreme Court of the United States yesterday declined to hear a challenge to California’s foie gras ban, allowing the prohibition on the sale of this cruel product to remain in effect.
California has banned the production and sale of foie gras, a so-called “delicacy” made from the diseased livers of ducks and geese, since July 2012. Days after it went into effect, foie gras producers sued California, claiming that the ban was unconstitutional and requesting that a court halt the ban. A federal judge, and later the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, disagreed and denied the request, allowing the ban to stand.
The foie gras producers then appealed to the Supreme Court, requesting a reversal of the decision from the lower courts. The Supreme Court denied the producers’ request, effectively keeping the ban in place. Fortunately for ducks and geese, it therefore remains illegal to produce or sell foie gras in California.
Foie gras – French for “fatty liver” – is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese (shoving a pipe down their throats and pumping food into their stomachs) until their livers swell up to ten times normal size, inducing a disease in the birds called hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver). Many countries, including the UK, Germany, and Israel, have banned the practice of force-feeding due its inherent cruelty. California is currently the only state in the US that bans foie gras, although Compassion Over Killing is currently suing the USDA for allowing the sale of this diseased product in violation of federal law.
The Supreme Court’s denial follows close behind another recent court victory for animals in the Golden State, when a federal judge dismissed a challenge to California’s battery cage egg ban.