On July 1 the State of California introduces a ban on of foie gras. Restaurateurs that defy the ban and serve the controversial delicacy risk fines of $1,000.
The legislation introducing the ban was drawn up by John Burton. The New York Times reported Burton compared the tradition of foie gras to waterboarding and female genital mutilation.
Whilst animal rights activists are firmly on the side of the ban, chefs and foie gras lovers are up in arms. Burton responded to foie gras fans by asking "Why don't you tell those chefs to have a duck cram a lot of food down their gullets and see how they like it?"According to Ta Nea it took eight years for the legislation, signed by then Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004, to come into effect. Some chefs are planning to get around the ban by serving free foie gras, though this may still breach the new law.
Bloomberg reported the ban may not actually be policed very seriously. A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department said "This is not a crime that would be investigated by the LAPD or likely any other municipal police department."
However, animal rights activists plan to take a breach of the ban very seriously. Bryan Pease of the Animal Protection and Rescue League in San Diego warned "We’re going to come down like a hammer on any chef or restaurant that wants to continue serving this very cruel product. If we find somebody still serving that product, the gloves are going to come off and we’ll use every legal means available to shut that place down, including lawsuits, protests and boycotts." He added "There’s just no reason to allow restaurants to do business in California that flout the law and torture animals for a table treat."Fans of foie gras will still be able to indulge in the other 49 states.