New York City Council yesterday voted to pass new legislation that will ban the sale of foie gras that comes from force fed birds.
The ban, which will come into effect in 2022, follows similar rules in California, which banned the sale of the product several years ago over animal welfare concerns.
Some have criticized the move, with gourmet food supplier D'Artagnan releasing a statement saying: "The premise of this legislation that the process is inhumane is not supported by fact or research – NOT ONE Council member has made any effort to learn about this process and all have refused to visit the farms to understand the process first-hand.
"A New York City foie gras ban will cost more than 400 immigrant workers their jobs and chance at the American dream. If humane treatment is truly the issue here, we should be looking at factory-farm practices first before we shut down small farms."
But Manhattan councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, described the process of making foie gras as 'inhumane', adding that it 'is one of the most violent practices and it's done for a purely luxury product'.
In order to make the product, which comes from the fattened liver of geese and ducks, the animals are force fed via a process known as 'gavage'.
Animal protection agency Animal Equality, which has done undercover investigations of foie gras farms, says this causes 'extreme suffering' to the animals who are 'forced to endure this agony'.