City Commissioners Carmen Rubio and Mingus Mapps have expressed interest in bringing a foie gras ban before the Portland City Council sometime in the spring, they tell WW.
Foie gras is made of fatty duck or goose liver enlarged by force-feeding the bird, a procedure animal advocates call cruel and inhumane.
“As an animal lover, I am always interested in how we can ensure the ethical treatment of animals,” Mapps says.
It’s the first time in nearly 13 years the issue has been reheated in this city. Last time around—in 2008, three years after a bill banning foie gras was killed in the Oregon House—animal advocates protested outside a number of high-profile Portland restaurants. (The protests did manage to pressure several restaurants into no longer selling foie gras, while others mocked activists).
Sarah Hanneken, legal advocate for the Los Angeles-based group pushing the ban, Animal Equality, calls foie gras a “high-end product that is exceptionally cruel and only available to the elite classes.” Hanneken proposed enforcement by a complaint-based system, similar to the single-use plastics ban.
Rubio’s office says she’s “open to the idea,” but that currently “our staff’s bandwidth is consumed by policies that have taken a high degree of priority.”
New York state has a foie gras ban in place starting in 2022. California enacted a ban in 2012, but a judge ruled last year that Californians could import foie gras from other states for personal consumption.