Animal Rights Activists are trying to get Foie Gras banned in New York to the horror of lovers of fine french cuisine.
NEW YORK, Nov 15, 2006 (AFP) - A coalition of animal welfare groups filed a lawsuit in New York Wednesday calling for the sale and production of foie gras in the state to be made illegal.
The suit, brought by groups led by the Humane Society of the United States against New York's Department of Agriculture and Markets, alleges that the fattened livers used to make the French delicacy are frequently diseased.
"Animals should not be kept sick and dying to appease the palates of a few gourmands," Carter Dillard, from the Humane Society said in a statement.
"The Department of Agriculture and Markets needs to follow its own law and put an end to this cruel and inhumane practice," he added.
New York is the largest foie gras-producing state in the United States, according to the welfare groups.
The same animal welfare coalition in June asked New York's Department of Agriculture and Markets to voluntarily declare foie gras unfit for consumption.
They say that the production of foie gras destroys animals' livers, killing a significant portion of the birds and leaving others dying from blood toxicity, nerve damage, suffocation, and other complications.
Foie gras production involves birds being force-fed to fatten their livers. According to the coalition, the livers often swell up to 10 times their normal size.
Chicago recently banned the sale of foie gras, with any restaurants caught serving the delicacy risking fines of up to 500 dollars.
Force-feeding birds has also been banned in 15 countries, including Germany, Italy, Israel and Britain, according to animal rights group Farm Sanctuary which runs the nofoiegras.org website.
Similar bans have been introduced in several other US states.
Opinion polls suggest that the American public is opposed to the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese for foie gras.
The Humane Society of the United States is the largest US animal protection organisation with nearly 10 million members.
Date created : 2006-12-05