x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 February 2019

As New York moves to ban foie gras, should the UAE be next?

The dish, which involves force feeding ducks to fatten their livers, is already banned in many places around the world

New York City could pass a bill banning foie gras. 
New York City could pass a bill banning foie gras. 

New York City could be about to join California in banning restaurants from serving foie gras.

Councillor for New York City Carlina Rivera has put forward a bill which would make the sale of the product – made of heavily fattened duck liver – illegal on the grounds of animal cruelty.

The controversial dish has long angered animal rights activists, as it involves force-feeding ducks and geese – usually through a tube – to purposely fatten the liver.

Foie gras dishes have been banned in a number of countries around the world. 
Foie gras dishes have been banned in a number of countries around the world.

Foie gras is a French delicacy, but outside of France it is banned across much of Europe. If Councillor Rivera’s bill should be passed, it would potentially mean any restaurant found to be serving foie gras would deemed to be in violation of the law and guilty of a misdemeanour, with could land them with a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.

The production of the delicacy is already banned in a number of countries, including Germany, the UK and Turkey, but restaurants and shops are allowed to import it. Interestingly, India was the first country to ban both the production and import of foie gras.

Speaking to the New York Post, Rivera said the bill was “common sense”, adding foie gras had been “wrongly tolerated” for too long.

The luxury item is still commonplace at dozens of restaurants across the UAE, with Dubai in particular a hot-spot for the delicacy. The luxury nature of foie gras makes it a hit in the UAE, so much so that in the past there have even been events dedicated to it, such as a special Gourmet Abu Dhabi dinner to showcase its qualities.

The movement in New York follows a ban in California in 2012, something fiercely opposed by the French government, which saw the bans as an attack on its culture and exports.

Foie gras is made by force feeding ducks to fatten up their livers. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT
Foie gras is made by force feeding ducks to fatten up their livers. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT

Still, there is no denying the cruelty involved in the production of the dish, which has been continually condemned by Peta. In a world where cruelty-free eating is more prevalent than ever, the place for foie gras at the global table is becoming smaller and smaller.

Updated: February 5, 2019 07:06 PM

SHARE

SHARE