California's foie gras ban is held in place while it's challenged… (Michael Robinson Chavez…)
SACRAMENTO -- California's legal ban on selling foie gras, the over-sized liver of a force-fed duck, remains enforced, for now.
A federal judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday denied a request brought by U.S. and Canadian foie gras producers to hold up enforcing the law, which took effect July 1, while it's challenged on constitutional grounds.
State lawmakers passed the prohibition in 2004 and gave farmers who raise the ducks and restauranteurs seven years to phase out the delicacy in the Golden State. The bill was signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson denied a request for an injunction while the lawsuit continues.
"No amount of legal maneuvering will change the fact that shoving pipes down birds' throats to force them to consumer vastly more than they would otherwise is grossly inhumane and unacceptable to the people of California," said Jonathan Lovvorn of the Humane Society of the United States in a statement.
The California law calls for a $1,000-per-day fine for force-feeding ducks to make foie gras or selling liver produced in that manner.
French gag on California foie gras ban
California's foie gras ban draws challenge
San Francisco restaurant claims exemption from foie gras ban