Friday, July 12, 2013

Foie Gras No More

The Knesset passed on its preliminary reading a law that would forbid the import and sale of foie gras that is widely condemned by animal rights groups because of the cruel practices farmers use to produce it.

The law would complement a 2003 High Court decision that ordered the Agriculture Ministry to actively enforce a ban on foie gras production, which entails the force feeding of geese and ducks. Since 2006, the Ministry has been consistently enforcing the production ban, but importing foie gras for sale in Israel was still legal. The new law will completely ban the item from supermarket freezers and restaurant menus.

Foie gras is a spread based on goose liver fat and is considered a delicacy in several European cuisines. Animal rights, environmental groups, and consumer groups have long complained about the methods used by commercial foie gras producers, who force-feed geese in order to develop fattier livers, allowing them to "harvest" more fat and produce more foie gras.

MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) who proposed the law said in a statement attached to it that "Israeli society decided years ago to stop the force-feeding of animals, in order to put an end to the torture of animals that this leads to. We should thus also ban the sale of foie gras. It is our responsibility to protect the helpless. Banning the sale of this item is a matter of logic and basic fairness - not to mention the Jewish legal requirement to prevent the suffering of animals, which Israel, as a Jewish state, should embrace as well".

Fifty nine MKs voted in favor of the law, while ten were opposed. The law will now be sent to the Knesset Control Committee in order to prepare it for its first reading.

Source: Virtual Jerusalem

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