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Chicago overturns foie gras ban

16 May 2008 by

Restaurants in Chicago will be able to serve foie gras again after the city's council overturned a ban on the controversial delicacy less than two years after imposing it.

The city enforced the ban on foie gras, which is produced by force-feeding geese and ducks, in August 2006.

It was consequently forced to issue warnings and fines to restaurants in Chicago flouting the ban.

In response, a group of Chicago chefs formed a movement to end the ban and adopted the "duckeasy" policy through which restaurants get around the ban by serving foie gras for free.

The decision to overturn the ban on foie gras has angered animal activists who say the production of foie gras is cruel.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the repeal had been made in "a secretive, rushed bow to special interests that benefit from the cruel treatment of animals".

However, Thomas Tunney, the council member who brought the issue to vote, said supporters of the ban had accomplished their goal by "raising awareness".

"This is clearly a matter the council should stay out of and let the educated consumer and chefs make their own menu choices," he said.

Doug Sohn, the owner of Hot Doug's "sausage superstore and encased meat emporium" and recipient of a $250 (£129) fine for serving foie gras last year, said he was pleased with the decision.

"I truly hope this ends it," he told the Associated Press news agency. "There are real important issues in this city. This is certainly not one of them."

Catersearch foie gras news round-up >>

UK restaurateurs defend their right to serve foie gras >>

Chicago restaurants flout foie gras ban >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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