NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York City Council has voted to ban the sale of foie gras — the fattened liver of a duck — served in fine restaurants and gourmet groceries across the city.
Council members passed the bill on Wednesday. They say producing the traditional French delicacy involves animal cruelty by force-feeding a bird through a tube pushed down its throat. Selling foie gras in New York will be illegal starting in 2022.
A ban could mean trouble for two farms outside the city that are premier U.S. producers of foie gras, with New York as their prime market — Hudson Valley Foie Gras and nearby La Belle Farm. Together, they raise about 350,000 birds for foie gras a year. The owners say they may have to close, with hundreds of mostly immigrant workers losing their jobs.
In the end, the measure imposes a fine of up to $2,000, instead of the previously considered $1,000. A penalty of up to one year behind bars has been eliminated.
“We want to be a city that is judged of course about how we treat our fellow people, but also we want to be judged by how we treat animals and the evolution of how we come to care for animals,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said.
The council also overwhelmingly passed the Carriage Horse Heat Relief Act, keeping horses from working when temperatures go above 90.
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