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NYC Becomes Largest City in the World to Ban Cruel Foie Gras

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As part of a historic animal protection package passed in the New York City Council, NYC has become the largest city in the world to ban cruel foie gras. Championed by Speaker Corey Johnson with support from a coalition of animal protection organizations led by Voters for Animal Rights, this bill includes multiple measures to make New York City a better place for animals. Compassion Over Killing was proud to be part of this coalition of animal protection organizations advocating to end this barbaric practice, and co-signed an impactful piece in the Gotham Gazette leading up to the vote.

Foie gras, or “fat liver,” is the French term for the fattened, diseased liver of a duck or goose, served around the world as a so-called delicacy. To produce foie gras, geese and ducks are force fed abnormally large quantities of food, causing their livers to become diseased and swell up to ten times the normal size. After 28 days of force-feeding, the birds are slaughtered.

Compassion Over Killing went undercover in the nation’s largest foie gras factory farm, Hudson Valley Foie Gras in upstate New York, revealing just how cruel and barbaric this practice is. What we documented can only be described as a torture chamber for birds—from pipes being shoved down their throats and food pumped into their stomachs to being grabbed by their wings, shackled upside down, and their throats slit.

The ban, which will be implemented in 2022, will impose a civil penalty of not less than $500 and not more than $2,000 per violation on any retail food or food service establishment selling foie gras in New York City.

The historic legislation package passed today also offers protections for other non-human animals, and includes the creation of a Mayoral Office of Animal Welfare, protects wild birds from poaching, and regulates the use of carriage horses in New York’s summer heat. Mayor de Blasio’s signature will make these measures law, and save thousands of animals from suffering every year.

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