Some editorial page writers in California should be busy over the next few days, prior to the banning of foie gras in state restaurants starting July 1, pointing out how police departments face another decision: whether to haul in chefs who keep the delicacy on menus, notes Grumpy Editor.
Starting Sunday in the Golden State, producing or selling the engorged livers of forced-fed ducks and geese will be prohibited by law. The law was passed in 2004 with a grace period that ends this week.
Restaurants that defy the ban will be subject to stiff $1,000 citations.
Pushing for the legislation were animal rights advocates who cited cruelty in fattening fowl by overfeeding them to produce fatty liver.
Talk among chefs, in skirting the ban, is to bring in the foie gras from outside California, such as Nevada, and serving it as a free side dish --- but charging for toast that goes with it.
But that could lead to some major action.
“We’re going to come down like a hammer on any chef or restaurant that wants to continue serving this very cruel product,” Bryan Pease, co-founder of the Animal Protection and Rescue League in San Diego, said in an interview with Bloomberg writer Alison Vekshin.
“If we find somebody still serving that product, the gloves are going to come off and we’ll use every legal means available to shut that place down, including lawsuits, protests and boycotts,” Pease added. “There’s just no reason to allow restaurants to do business in California that flout the law and torture animals for a table treat.”
However, major police departments in California --- already busy enforcing assorted crimes --- appeared reluctant to issue citations or handcuff law-breaking chefs.