New York set to become latest U.S. city to ban foie gras

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City, often viewed as the fine dining capital of America, was poised on Wednesday to become the latest U.S. city to ban the sale of foie gras, sparking manufacturers to vow a court battle to overturn it.

The New York City Council was expected to pass a bill to “ban the sale or provision of certain force-fed poultry products.”

Foie gras, French for “fatty liver,” is a delicacy produced from the enlarged livers of ducks and geese that have been force-fed corn.

Animal rights groups contend that the force-feeding process is painful and gruesome.

“The council is banning a really cruel and inhumane practice,” said Jeremy Unger, spokesman for Council Member Carlina Rivera of Manhattan, who introduced the bill.

But the nation’s largest maker of foie gras, Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Ferndale, New York, located about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of New York City, defended the practice it uses to make the luxury item.

“I can tell you we take proper care of the birds,” said Hudson Valley manager Marcus Henley. He said the farm, which employs 400 people, makes foie gras “in conformity with humane animal management and in compliance with the laws of the state of New York.”

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