Supreme Court won’t hear dispute over California law banning sale of foie gras

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 2:02 p.m.

WASHINGTON– The Supreme Court said Monday it would not be involved in a dispute over a California animal cruelty law that bans the sale of foie gras in the state, leaving in place a lower court ruling dismissing the case. ‘affair.

Foie gras is made from the enlarged livers of force-fed ducks and geese, and animal welfare groups had backed the law. As usual, the court did not comment on its refusal to hear the case, and it was among many the court said on Monday it would not hear.

The law does not completely ban Californians from eating foie gras in the state. Courts have ruled that residents can still order foie gras from out-of-state producers and have it shipped to them. However, restaurants and retailers are still prohibited from selling or giving it away.

The foie gras case was pending in the High Court while judges considered another case involving another California animal cruelty law, the one governing the sale of pork in the state. In that case, judges backed the law earlier this month, which requires more space for breeding pigs. The pork industry said the decision would drive up costs nationwide for pork chops and bacon.

California’s foie gras law, however, predates the pork law and went into effect in July 2012. It states, “A product may not be sold in California that results from the force-feeding of a bird with the aim of enlarging his liver beyond that. normal size.”

Farmers and producers of poultry products in Canada have pursued this law with New York-based Hudson Valley Foie Gras. The case has been going on since 2012. More recently, a trial court dismissed the case and a federal appeals court accepted that decision. The Supreme Court’s decision not to intervene leaves that decision in place.

In a statement released through their lawyer, Michael Tenenbaum, the groups who brought the case said they were disappointed both with the way the high court resolved the pork in California earlier this month and the high court’s decision not to intervene. case.

“Like farmers across the country, we are disappointed with the Supreme Court’s fractured decision in the pork producers case, which allowed Californian politicians to tell people what they can and cannot eat. And we believe the Court should have agreed to add our case to its plate for the upcoming term, as it presents an even more compelling challenge to these nanny state prohibitions,” the statement read.

A spokesman for California Attorney General Rob Bonta, whose office championed the law, said in an emailed statement that the office was happy with the ruling.

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