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California's Ban on Foie Gras Upheld by Supreme Court

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The highest court in the land has sided with animal rights activists.


It's a sad day for Californians who love fatty duck liver. Reuters reports that today the Supreme Court held up California's ban on foie gras. Since 2012, chefs across the state have expressed resentment over the ban, and several large restaurant groups, backed by foie gras farmers and others including New York's Hudson Valley Foie Gras, have appealed the decision numerous times. The last appeal took place in a Federal Court in Los Angeles in August of 2013.

In this latest appeal, the justices declined to hear statements from opposing council, and so "left intact an August 2013 ruling" by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The law bans any product created by "force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird's liver beyond a normal size." It's a process animal rights activists have successfully argued should be considered animal abuse.

"The Supreme Court's decision means that the people of California have the right to prohibit the sale of certain food items, solely because they are the product of animal cruelty," Jonathan Lovvorn, chief counsel for the Humane Society of the United States, said in a release.

Foie gras remains legal in every other U.S. state. It should be noted that the ban is not always enforced in California.