FERNDALE — Foie Gras farms in Sullivan County are reacting positively after the Supreme Court of the State of New York placed an injunction on New York City’s ban on selling the product …
FERNDALE — Foie Gras farms in Sullivan County are reacting positively after the Supreme Court of the State of New York placed an injunction on New York City’s ban on selling the product in restaurants.
Earlier this year, Hudson Valley Foie Gras and La Belle Farms sued New York City, claiming that NYC Local Law 202—passed in 2019—violated Section 305-a of N.Y. Agriculture and Markets Law, which states its pro- tection for farmers “against local laws which unreason- ably restrict farm operations located within an agricul-tural district.”
New York City’s ban on the sale of Foie Gras would have taken into effect this November.
According to the injunction placed by Honorable J. Machelle Sweeting, the sale of Foie Gras can continue in New York City while the courts examine the enforcement of the law.
“It’s amazing. It’s a big relief,” said Sergio Saravia, President of La Belle Farms in Ferndale, whose business sees a significant portion of its American sales in New York City, serving their products to hundreds of restaurants.
Saravia said there is still a big fight ahead, and if the ban went into effect in November, “it would have been devastating. You’re talking about closing a third of our business.”
La Belle Farm and Hudson Valley Foie Gras, who brought the lawsuit against New York City, say they utilize a combined 400 workers and help support the local economy by utilizing local feeders, employing a large number of farm workers, and helping supply manure to local farms in Sullivan County.
New York City Council looked to ban the practice which NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera called the process of creating Foie Gras “exceptionally cruel and inhumane practice.”
Foie gras comes from the livers of Moulard ducks, a hybrid species using Pekin and Muscovies ducks. The process of creating a fatty duck liver involves inserting a tube down the throat of the duck during its final weeks to fatten its liver.
While the injunction is in place, New York City will continue its fight on the total ban on the sale of Foie Gras within city limits.
Nick Paolucci, NYC Law Dept. spokesman, said, “While the court has paused the law while the case proceeds, the city will continue to defend it and is confident of prevailing.”
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