February 4, 2015 / 11:46 PM / 5 years ago

California says will appeal ruling making foie gras legal

LOS ANGELES, Feb 4 (Reuters) - California’s attorney general on Wednesday filed notice that her office will appeal a federal judge’s decision that overturned the state’s two-year ban on sales of foie gras, a delicacy made from fatty duck and geese liver.

California outlawed foie gras sales and production in 2004, but the ban did not take effect until 2012. Proponents of the ban say forced feeding of ducks and geese to enlarge their livers amounts to animal cruelty.

Critics of the ban say it infringes on culinary freedom, effectively turning chefs into criminals.

Animal rights activists, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society of the United States cheered Attorney General Kamala Harris’ move.

“Kamala Harris is right to appeal this questionable ruling. California has the right to prevent the commerce in such a cruel and inhumane product,” said Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection at the Humane Society.

Harris, who has announced that she will seek the Democratic nomination to replace retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, declined comment through her office.

A U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles ruled on Jan. 7 that California’s ban ran afoul of a federal law regulating poultry products. The ruling only applied to the sale of foie gras. Production continues to be banned. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Sandra Maler)

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