Media Coverage: New York Post

Upstate New York duck farmers beg Cuomo to stop foie gras ban

By in Media Coverage: New York Post

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Upstate duck farmers are begging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene and stop the City Council’s recent ban on the sale of foie gras — the controversial duck delicacy that’s enraged animal rights activists.

Starting in 2022, all sales of the French delicacy will be illegal, with violators facing up to $2,000 in penalties.

But Sergio Saravia, president of La Belle Farms in the Hudson Valley dubs the move “a fatal blow” to over 400 duck farmers statewide.

“It’s sad to think Mayor de Blasio signed a bill that was based mostly on misinformation and lies about how ducks are raised and processed at our New York facilities,” Saravia wrote in a letter obtained by The Post Thursday.

“Neither de Blasio, nor the council members nor special interest groups bothered to visit our farms, and see our production methods, before crafting their legislation.”

Animal rights activists were up in arms about the crude feeding method, as ducks are force-fed to plump up their livers.

But Saravia said he’s invented a “gentler” approach that’s been accepted in France and perhaps soon in Guatemala. City politicians have no business trouncing on farmers’ rights Saravia said, citing a section of agricultural law protecting farmers from legislation that “unreasonably restricts their farm operation.”

“What right do city legislators have in passing laws that affect rural businesses outside the city limits? This is a clear case of legislative overreach, and is going to strip away the livelihood of hundreds of upstate workers associated with our farming business,” he added.

A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo said the matter rests with the state Department of Agriculture.

“We have received the letter referenced and are reviewing the situation. Once the Department receives the formal request for a review of this local law, we will determine whether it is in the scope of our powers and what the next steps will be,” said DOA spokeswoman Jola Szubielski.