Sullivan legislature jumps into foie gras fray

Posted 11/15/19

MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Legislature on November 14 unanimously passed a resolution attempting to help two county farms that produce foie gras.  On Oct. 30, the New York City …

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Sullivan legislature jumps into foie gras fray

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MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Legislature on November 14 unanimously passed a resolution attempting to help two county farms that produce foie gras.  On Oct. 30, the New York City Council passed a law that will ban the sale of foie gras beginning in 2022.  Le Belle Farm and Hudson Valley Foie Gras, both located in Ferndale, employ about 400 people producing foie gras and other products made from ducks.

The Sullivan resolution calls on Richard Ball, the commissioner of the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, to “act in accordance with Agriculture and Markets law 305-a to protest a bill enacted by the New York City Council that will ban the sale of foie gras in the City of New York effective 2022.”  The commissioner’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Sullivan resolution reads in part:

WHEREAS, the operations of the duck farms do not threaten public health or safety and do not constitute animal cruelty; and

WHEREAS, the farms have long existed in Sullivan County and employ hundreds of Sullivan County residents, creating an economic impact and benefit to Sullivan County; and

WHEREAS, the New York City bill will have the impact of impermissibly and adversely restricting and regulating local agricultural entities within Sullivan County and their employees.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Sullivan County Legislature hereby requests the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets to act pursuant to Agriculture and Markets Law Section 305-a to protect the interests of these farms and to make a determination that the New York City bill was enacted in contravention of the State Agriculture and Markets Law; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Sullivan County Legislature hereby further requests New York State enact specific protections for the farmers and their animal practices by preempting any local laws which would purport to restrict or disallow the sale of products produced within the State of New York, which are found to be appropriate by state law and regulation.

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