VICTORY: California’s Foie Gras Ban Will Soon Be Back in Effect

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3 min read

UPDATE: The champagne corks are popping at PETA because the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has rightly held that California’s foie gras ban was not preempted by federal law, thereby reinstating the law that prohibits selling the diseased livers of birds who were overfed forcibly through a tube that was rammed down their throats. PETA has protested against this practice for years, showing videos of geese being force-fed that no one but the most callous chefs could stomach and revealing that foie gras is torture on toast and unimaginably cruel. Now, the court has agreed that California can prohibit its sale. PETA reminds everyone that faux gras, which can be eaten with a clear conscience, is readily available.

Posted December 9, 2016:

The state of California enacted a ban on sales of foie gras in 2012 in response to the cruelty inherent in the production of this vile product, during which workers repeatedly jam pipes down ducks’ throats and pump up to 4 pounds of grain and fat into them to sicken them and enlarge their livers. After the ban went into effect, a restaurant group, poultry producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and others sued the state to invalidate the law, arguing that it was preempted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA). In 2015, a federal judge agreed and overturned the ban, meaning that California restaurants were free to serve it again. The state appealed, and on Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held oral arguments.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Judge Harry Pregerson—one member of the three-judge panel hearing the case—explicitly stated that foie gras production is “absolutely cruel.”


He refuted the argument used to strike down the ban—which is that the PPIA preempts California’s foie gras ban—by pointing out that the PPIA addresses ingredient requirements, not how animals raised for food are treated. Referring to ducks and geese raised for foie gras, he explained,

“[T]hey’re treated cruelly. You have to open their mouths, you stuff a device all the way down their throats—jam it in—so that it affects their livers. Their livers become bloated.”

When the State argued that the PPIA does not apply to “how a bird was fed well before it reaches the slaughterhouse,” Pregerson, in agreement, elaborated, “Not only how the bird is fed, but it’s how the bird is cruelly fed. That’s what it’s about.”

When an attorney for poultry producers tried to dodge his question about whether ducks enjoy being force-fed by saying, “California doesn’t get to determine the enjoyment of a New York duck,” Pregerson fired back with “But do you think the duck enjoys that? They have to grab the duck and hold it. And jam a thing through its throat.”

Judge Pregerson’s strong statements echo the thoughts of every kind person and humane organization in the world. They inspire confidence that California’s foie gras ban will be reinstated, and as soon as it is, PETA will call on other states to follow suit.

Share this exciting update with your friends, family, and social media followers. Let them know that foie gras is a product of extreme cruelty to sensitive ducks, and encourage them to avoid it—and all other animal products—by going vegan today.

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