SF may phase out foie gras ahead of state

March 24, 2009 12:54:55 PM PDT
San Francisco supervisors will consider a resolution today supporting restaurants that remove foie gras from their menus, in advance of state law that will begin banning the fatty duck or goose liver in three years.

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The resolution provides support for SB 1520, passed in 2004, which will issue $1,000 fines for force-feeding birds to enlarge their livers, a process that animal protection groups consider cruel.

The law also prohibits foie gras from being sold in California. "The point of foie gras production is to grossly enlarge the duck's liver to over 10 times its normal size, causing unmitigated pain and difficulty walking and breathing," a statement from the San Rafael-based In Defense of Animals said.

"This humane resolution will help to encourage restaurants to get ahead of the curve and remove this product of cruel animal torture without waiting for the ban to go into effect in three years," said San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commissioner Philip Gerrie.

The state law goes into effect July 1, 2012.

According to the San Francisco resolution, which will be heard at the board's 2 p.m. meeting today, foie gras production has already been banned by at least 15 countries.

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