January 7, 2019 / 4:11 PM / 13 days ago

U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to California foie gras ban

FILE PHOTO: The Hot's Kitchen "Foie Burger" (L), made with foie gras, brie, huckleberry, and whole grain mustard, and "Leggo My Foie", made with foie gras, waffle, vanilla maple syrup, bacon, and whipped cream, are displayed by chef Sean Chaney at Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach, California January 10, 2015. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the latest challenge to California’s ban on foie gras, a delicacy produced from the enlarged livers of ducks and geese that have been force-fed corn.

The court declined to hear an appeal by producers of foie gras, including the Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec, a Canadian nonprofit that represents duck and goose farmers. In doing so, the high court left intact a 2017 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the law.

Animal rights groups contend that the force-feeding process is painful, gruesome and inhumane.

California enacted the law in 2004 but it did not go into effect until 2012. The Supreme Court in 2014 rejected an earlier appeal brought by producers and restaurants.

Foie gras means “fatty liver” in French. The product is produced by force-feeding corn to ducks and geese to enlarge their livers, which are harvested to make gourmet dishes.

The law specifically bans any product created by “force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond a normal size.”

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham

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