city sues to enforce local law banning French delicacy

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The city is again fighting to enact its foie gras ban, dismissing the famed French delicacy as a high-end serving of animal abuse.

“The legislative record reflects a decision by the city that it values animal welfare over a luxury food item that requires force-feeding of birds,” the city Law Department argued last week in a Manhattan Supreme Court filing to get the ban back on the table.

Local Law 202, which prohibits the sale of the French goose-liver pâté in the five boroughs, passed the City Council with “overwhelming support” in October 2019, and was due to take effect in November 2022.

But two upstate farms sued to stop the ban, claiming their operations were humane and that the ban would force them to lay off hundreds of workers. In August a judge and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets agreed, forcing the city to go to court to resurrect the law.

The city argues the state overstepped its authority.

“If local law 202 were it to go into effect, [it] would only prevent [the farms] from lawfully selling foie gras to businesses in the city, but would not prevent the sale of any other product they produce in the city and would not prevent the sale of foie gras outside the city,” according to the legal filing.

foie gras served at Manhattan's La Brasserie
Foie gras is considered a delicacy.

Sergio Saravia, whose La Belle Farm was involved in the lawsuit, said he was confident the city’s effort to ban foie gras would fail.

“I feel good about it because the Agriculture Department actually came to our farm, they actually came and saw our operation,” he said, noting La Belle had repeatedly asked City Council members to visit and observe its humane practices, only to be ignored.

“The city is very confident of its legal position,” a Law Department spokesman told The Post.

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