New York City mulls ban on foie gras over animal cruelty concerns
A majority of city council members have signed on to a bill that would ban the sale of foie gras at restaurants, grocery stores or shops in the city on the grounds that the force-feeding needed to produce it constitutes cruelty to animals.
The proposed ban is viewed with alarm at Hudson Valley Foie Gras, a 200-acre (80-hectare) farm two hours north of the city in the Catskill Mountains that is the largest producer of foie gras in the U.S.
"There's a much greater than 50% chance that we wouldn't survive if we lose our New York City sales," said Marcus Henley, the farm's manager, noting that about one-third of the Hudson Valley product is sold in New York City. Another third was lost to a ban in California.
Hundreds of workers at Hudson Valley and at nearby La Belle Farm feed about 350,000 birds each year in a process that fattens the bird's liver up to 10 times its normal size.