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No More Foie Gras in New York City

a waiter filling a glass of red wine No more foie gras with that Chambertin
By Andrew Leonatti on November 04, 2019 7:56 AM

"If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."

Scratch that.

Now you can make foie gras anywhere but New York City.

That's because the NYC City Council overwhelmingly voted on Wednesday in favor of banning the sale of the (delicious, admittedly) delicacy, considered by many to be the pinnacle of French haute cuisine.

Remind Me What Foie Gras Is?

Foie gras is French for "fatty liver." More specifically, it is the fatty liver of either a duck or a goose.

Without going too far into it, ducks and geese can quickly eat a lot of food in preparation for migration. So, after a period of eating liberally, farmers then use a funnel, known as a gavage, to force-feed the birds a large amount of fatty food for set amount of time.

The fat from the feed causes the bird's liver to enlarge and take on its signature buttery taste, which many people love​, but which has also drawn the scorn of animal rights activists for decades.

Businesses Upset

While the new law won't come into effect for another three years, foie gras producers are upset, arguing that New York City restaurants and shops make up such a large portion of their sales that it could threaten them.

But the Supreme Court has already weighed in on this issue. That is, justices refused to weigh in earlier this year in an effort to overturn California's foie gras ban, in place since 2012.

More 'Animal Cruelty' Laws Passed

The foie gras ban was just one animal cruelty-related piece of business the council attended to this week.

The iconic horse-drawn carriage rides will now come to a halt if the temperature hits 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They will also stop if the temperature is 80 degrees or higher and the humidity hits a certain level.

Another bill passed by the council makes it a misdemeanor to trap pigeons and take them out of state to be used in bird hunts.

While the new laws should leave animals in New York City a little bit happier, they do introduce headaches for business owners. Keeping on top of these new regulations and retooling business plans will be a complex undertaking. There are attorneys across the city who are able to help.

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