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The Nation

Judge upholds foie gras ban

June 13, 2007|From the Associated Press

CHICAGO — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday that had sought to reverse the city's ban on the duck-liver delicacy known as foie gras.

The lawsuit, filed in August by the Illinois Restaurant Assn. and Allen's New American Cafe, claimed the city had no right to regulate the sale of a product that is produced legally.

But the ban is not unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Blanche M. Manning said Tuesday in summing up her ruling.

Animal rights activists and others object to the sale of the delicacy because of how geese and ducks are force-fed through a pipe to plump their livers. Violators of Chicago's ban are ordered to pay a fine.

"Just as we have laws prohibiting us from abusing our dogs and cats, we should have laws that prevent the abuse of other animals," said Paul Shapiro, director of the Humane Society's factory farming campaign. "We applaud the court for its ruling and applaud the city attorneys for fighting this attempt to bring animal cruelty back to Chicago."

Restaurateurs have protested for months, claiming the ban violated consumers' right to eat what they choose.

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