From the passing of Proposition 2 in 2008 and the recent success of Proposition 12 in 2018, California has made great strides in the field of farm animal welfare. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a challenge to California’s ban on foie gras after years of legal wrangling since Gov. Schwarzenegger signed it into law in July 2004. While further legal challenges are pending, this is a watershed moment and the law is now in effect.
Foie gras is made from the livers of ducks and geese who are force-fed so that their livers become diseased, fatty, and as much as 10 times their normal size. The process is stressful, traumatic, and fraught with injuries. Some birds even choke to death on their own vomit or die from a painful condition resulting from food being pushed into their lungs. California bans such force-feeding and the sale of any product that results from it. Those doing are subject to a fine of $1,000 per violation and up to $1,000 per day the violation continues.
Marin Humane is categorically opposed to the production, sale, and consumption of foie gras. Not only does force feeding sicken these birds, they are subjected cruelty through improper handling, painful top debeaking, and being forced to live in filthy, overcrowded cages or sheds. We urge consumers not to purchase these products if they find it being sold and to and to express concern to facility management if they see them on menus.
You can also report foie gras being sold in California by contacting the Animal Legal Defense Fund.