×

UPDATE 1-Appeals court revives California foie gras ban

(Adds details from decision, background)

Sept 15 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Friday revived a California law banning the sale of foie gras made from force-fed birds in the state.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a lower court judge erred in concluding that the law must be struck down because it conflicted with a federal law governing the production of poultry products.

California's law bans the sale of duck, geese and other birds that are force-fed to enlarge their livers, resulting in rich flavors that gourmands prize. The law was passed in 2004 and took effect in 2012.

Friday's decision is a victory for animal rights advocates trying to stop force-feeding, while many chefs and others in the restaurant industry opposed the California ban.

The law had been challenged by a group of Canadian duck and geese producers, the Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Quebec, New York producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and Los Angeles' Hot's Restaurant Group.

Neither their lawyer nor the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, which defended the law, immediately responded to requests for comment.

A federal judge had struck down the California law in January 2015, agreeing with the challengers that the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act preempted it.

But in Friday's 3-0 decision, Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen said California was simply trying to ban a feeding method it deemed cruel and inhumane.

She said this posed no conflict with the federal law, even if enforcing it resulted in an effective ban on foie gras.

"Nothing in the federal law or its implementing regulations limits a state's ability to regulate the types of poultry that may be sold for human consumption," Nguyen wrote. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler and Lisa Von Ahn)