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Foie gras ban imminent in California

Foie gras is set to be outlawed in California as a raft of A-list stars urge the state governor to ban the delicacy.

Sir Paul McCartney, Kim Basinger, William Baldwin, Chrissie Hynde and others are petitioning governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to sign a bill – approved by the state last month – banning the sale and production of foie gras in California.

Schwarzenegger’s signature is now all that is required for it to be passed into law.

Foie gras – which literally means ‘fat liver’ – is made from goose livers massively expanded by force-feeding. Although widely considered a gastronomic luxury, its method of production is protested by animal rights groups.

They claim it is impossible to make foie gras without grotesquely enlarging the goose’s liver – and that is only possible by force-feeding.

‘I feel sure that your natural feelings of compassion will encourage you to sign this basic humane bill into law,’ McCartney wrote in a letter for animal rights group Viva! USA.

One prominent London chef told decanter.com such a ban was unlikely in the UK. Putting the furore down to ‘Californian quirkiness’ he said, ‘It’s a contentious issue, a bit like foxhunting over here.’

Animal rights groups are expected to present a manifesto to the European parliament hoping to ban the production of foie gras across Europe.

One group, Advocates for Animals, protested vociferously outside Gordon Ramsay’s Glasgow restaurant Amaryllis when the chef suggested foie gras was now humanely produced.

‘We are hoping for a Europe-wide ban. How far it will get in parliament, we don’t know but we have a lot of support,’ said Lynda Korimbucco of animal welfare group Advocates for Animals.

Written by Oliver Styles

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