Legislative Updates

Sullivan County Takes Steps to Overturn NYC Ban on Foie Gras and Related Products

By in Legislative Updates

Legal and legislative steps to overturn the ban on foie gras and related duck product sales in NYC ramped up this week, with the Sullivan County Legislature coming to the aid of local area duck farmers. On November 14th, the upstate county’s legislators passed a resolution requesting that the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets step in and perform what’s known as an AG and Markets 305 review.

What is a 305 review?

AML §305 is a New York State law that prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances that unreasonably restrict farming operations within a defined agricultural district. Sullivan County is asking that the soon to be signed into law foie gras ban be reviewed, as it imposes operational restrictions on local duck farms residing within a protected agricultural district. If this is found to be the case, the NYC ban would be determined by the state to be unlawful.

For background, in late October 2019, the NYC Council passed legislation to ban the selling of foie gras and related duck products, within Big Apple city limits. The ban will become law no later than November 30th, with a three-year grace period

Not wasting any time, Sullivan County duck farmers are taking action themselves, with plans to file suits in state and federal courts, calling the NYC ban unconstitutional. What’s at stake is the livelihood of 400 immigrants and their families who depend on the Sullivan County farms for employment, and the devastating economic impact such a ban will have on the second poorest county in New York state.