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No relief from California foie gras ban for the food industry

Judge rejects a request for a temporary halt to the state’s embargo on the delicacy

California gourmets who miss eating their favorite force-fed bird livers are going to have to wait and see if they can get any relief from the courts. On Wednesday, a federal judge rejected a restaurant owner and industry groups’ request to temporarily end the state’s ban on foie gras, which came into effect this month.

Animal rights groups have long detested foie gras, which means “fatty liver” in French. Jonathan Lovvorn, a lawyer with the Humane Society of the United States, said in response to the ruling that "no amount of legal maneuvering will change the fact that shoving pipes down birds' throats to force them to consume vastly more than they would otherwise is grossly inhumane and unacceptable to the people of California."

The ban is certainly having the intended effect. Michael Tenenbaum, the attorney who filed the suit against the state, said his clients, which include producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras, are losing thousands of dollars a day, because “California is a huge market for the product.”

District Judge Stephen V. Wilson in Los Angeles was unmoved, saying that the request for a temporary halt to the ban should have been filed before July 5, and did not require urgent action by the court.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

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