About the Ban

California Health & Safety Code § 25980 et seq. bans force feeding in California and the sale of products of force feeding (ie, foie gras), effective July 1, 2012.

Lastest update:

In 2015 a lower court decision struck down the 2012 ban that prohibited the import of foie gras into the state. On September 15, 2017, a panel of judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of appeal issued a ruling that the 2015 decision was wrong and that California is free to enfoce the ban, though the sale of the delicacy is still allowed until the appeals process has been completed.

Circuit Judge Nguyen wrote, "Nothing in the federal law or its implementing regulations limits a state's ability to regulate the types of poultry that may be sold for human consumption." 

The California foie gras law, originally passed in 2004 with a 7.5-year enforcement delay, targets the methods by which foie is produced: Gavage involves force-feeding ducks or geese more food than they would voluntarily eat, normally using a tube that is placed into the bird’s esophagus. The law states that any product made by “force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size” cannot be sold or produced in the state. The law provides for a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation, and up to $1,000/day for each day the violation continues.