A federal court in California has denied the ex parte request of foie gras producers to temporarily halt California’s enforcement of a ban on the sale of any product that is the result of force-feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging its liver beyond normal size. Association des Éleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Québec v. Harris, No. 12-5735 (U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., W. Div., order entered July 18, 2012). Additional information about the challenge to California’s foie gras ban appears in Issue 446 of this Update. The court also established a briefing schedule on the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction that will culminate in an August 29, 2012, hearing.
Meanwhile, California restaurateurs have reportedly found ways around the state’s ban. A restaurant on a former military base in San Francisco, now owned by the National Park Service, apparently began offering the dish on its menu, claiming that its location on federal land makes it exempt from state regulation. Other restaurants are offering free foie gras with other orders, and some chefs are apparently preparing it for customers who bring their own. According to a press report, the law does not ban the distribution or possession of foie gras. See Associated Press, July 17, 2012.