Today, the New York City Council passed a package of animal-welfare bills that includes Intro 1378A—a citywide ban on the sale of “force-fed products” (i.e. foie gras) introduced by Council Member Carlina Rivera in January. Typically, the production of foie gras involves force-feeding ducks or geese until their livers reach an engorged, unnatural state. Once Intro 1378A is signed into law, no retail food establishment or food service establishment, or agent thereof, is permitted to sell, store, or offer to sell foie gras. Violators will be subject to one year of jail time and a fine of $2,000. The law will allow a phase-in period for affected businesses to allow them to transition to other practices that do not involve selling or producing foie gras. “It’s a big day for animals and we should continue to be at the forefront of the movement,” Rivera said. A number of animal-rights groups worked to support the passing of the foie gras ban in New York City—the largest city in the world to do so—including Voters for Animal Rights (VFAR). “We’re grateful to Speaker Corey Johnson for spearheading this landmark package of animal protection measures through the City Council and thankful to all the sponsors who’ve championed their individual measures through this process,” VFAR President Allie Feldman Taylor said. “By passing this landmark package, New York City has proven itself to be a leader on animal rights issues and we look forward to Mayor de Blasio signing all these measures into law.”

“Over the last decade, New York City has proven itself to be one of the most progressive cities but there is more to be done on animal welfare,” Johnson said during today’s hearing before introducing various animal-welfare focused bills, including Intro 1378A, to the Council for voting. “This is a historic day for animals in the New York City Council,” Johnson said. “I am really proud of these package of bills we are doing today.” Other bills that passed today make it unlawful for carriage horses to work in dangerous weather conditions, establish an animal welfare office in NYC, require the police department to report data on animal cruelty complaints, prohibit the trafficking of wild birds, and promote the adoption of shelter animals.  

Intro 1378A, along with the other animal-welfare measures, will now go to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desk for signature and will take effect in three years after he signs it into law.

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