The Ministerial Law Committee on Sunday authorized for legislation a proposed law that would end sales of foie gras in Israel. 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, the main source for the fatty liver delicacy.
Since 2006, the Ministry has been consistently enforcing the production ban, but importing foie gras for sale in Israel is still legal. The new law would completely ban the item from supermarket freezers and restaurant menus.
The law was proposed by MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), who was joined by 20 other MKs in sponsoring it. Speaking to the committee, Lipman said 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, Lipman said.
Animal rights groups cheered Lipman for the proposal. In a joint statement, animal rights groups Anonymous and “Let the Animals Live” said that “force-feeding of animals is barbaric torture that must be banned altogether, everywhere. The process itself is torturous; producers stuff a feeding tube down the throat of the animal and fill them with unthinkable amounts of food, so that their livers will swell in size and allow them to harvest more liver for their foie gras. Banning the sale of this item altogether is a most welcome step,” the groups said.