Federal Appeals Court Upholds California’s Foie Gras Ban

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Foie gras at Dovetail in New York. Photo: Nicole Franzen

A panel of three judges unanimously upheld federal judge Stephen Wilson's earlier refusal to overturn California's statewide foie gras ban late Friday afternoon, rejecting claims that the law was essentially a form of "discriminatory regulation of interstate commerce." Last fall, a Quebec-based foie producer had teamed up with the owners of Hot's Kitchen to challenge the ban, which they argued was unconstitutional and amounted to a more expansive position against all products made from force-fed ducks and geese, including down feathers used in jackets and bedding. "The plain meaning of [the law] is that it applies only to a product that is produced by force feeding a bird to enlarge its liver," wrote one of the judges for Friday's ruling, the L.A. Times reports. The panel also reiterated that the law, which went into effect in July of 2012, was designed expressly to minimize animal cruelty and suffering. [LAT, Earlier]