New York Supreme Court Upholds La Belle Farm And Hudson Foie Gras’s Right To Sell The Duck Delicacy In Nyc

June 21, 2024 12:50 PM PDT | By Send2Press
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SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y., June 21, 2024 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — In a significant legal victory for upstate New York duck farmers, the New York Supreme Court in Albany has ruled against New York City’s ban on the sale of foie gras. The ruling confirms that Local Law 202, which sought to prohibit the sale of foie gras within City limits and had been enjoined by the New York State Department of Agriculture, violates state agricultural laws designed to protect farming practices and promote agricultural commerce, La Belle Farms announced today.

La Belle Farms: Foie Gras is a gourmet delicacy prized by top chefs globally
Photo caption: Foie Gras is a gourmet delicacy prized by top chefs globally.

With this decision, New York City remains prohibited from enforcing its ban on foie gras, allowing restaurants and retailers to continue offering this culinary delicacy to their patrons. The ruling reaffirms that local laws cannot unreasonably restrict state-protected agricultural practices.

La Belle Farms Inc. and Hudson Valley Foie Gras, both based in Ferndale, NY, challenged the City’s ban, arguing that it unlawfully targeted their farming practices and threatened their livelihood. The Court’s decision underscores the importance of supporting local agriculture and upholding state policies that prioritize economic stability in farming communities.

Key Points:

  • In 2019, New York City enacted Local Law 202, banning the sale of foie gras, citing concerns over animal welfare related to the force-feeding process used in its production.
  • The New York State Agriculture and Markets Law (AML) § 305-a protects farming operations from local regulations that unreasonably restrict agricultural practices.
  • After reviewing Local Law 202 and investigating the impact it would have on the Farms, the NYS Department of Agriculture declared that the law was void and unenforceable.
  • In a Decision and Order issued on June 21, 2024, the New York State Supreme Court in Albany agreed and held that Local Law 202 was preempted by state laws that promote and protect the agricultural economy.
  • The Court’s decision reaffirms the legality of foie gras production and sale throughout New York State, ensuring that upstate farmers can continue their operations without city-imposed restrictions.

Sergio Saravia, President of La Belle Farms, expressed his relief and gratitude for the Court’s decision. “This ruling is a victory for farmers across New York State. It’s about more than just foie gras; it’s about preserving our right to farm and support our families. We are grateful to New York Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets Richard Ball for protecting our livelihoods and the Court for recognizing the importance of the state’s agricultural practices.”

Edward J. Phillips, attorney at Keane and Beane, P.C. in White Plains, NY, who represented the farmers, commented, “The Court’s thorough and insightful decision sets an important precedent that protects the farming community in Sullivan County and the broader agricultural economy of New York State.”

About La Belle Farms:

La Belle Farms is a 40-acre, family-run, duck farm located in Sullivan County, NY. It is one of three farms in the country that produce foie gras. The farm was established by the Saravia and Lee families in 1999 and has supported four generations of family members. It currently produces over 182,000 ducks per-year for high-quality foie gras and other superior duck meat products. Their management team constantly travels around the world, learning about the latest production methods and keeping tabs on culinary trends.

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Photo caption: Foie Gras is a gourmet delicacy prized by top chefs globally.

News Source: La Belle Farms

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