Following a 2003 Supreme Court decision that found foie gras violated Israel’s animal welfare law, the Israeli parliament this month passed legislation that will end the force-feeding of geese effective at the end of January 2005.
The Israeli Agriculture Minister had requested that the ban not go into effect until the end of March, but the Knesset Education Committee stuck fast to an end of January deadline to stop the practice.
Knesset Education Committee chair Meli Polishook-Bloch was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying of the ban,
The time has come to put an end to the drawn-out period of many years during which the geese have suffered.
Agricultural Ministry Director-General Yossy Ishay, on the other hand, was troubled by the influence that animal rights activists have had on this issue, telling the Jerusalem Post,
This is the first time the Knesset has decided that an entire sector of agriculture is illegal. If we don’t stop the animal rights groups, tomorrow you won’t be able to milk cows or keep chickens in coops.
Israel is among the world leaders in foie gras exports, with over 70 producers that export about $8 million worth of foie gras annually.
What’s bad for the goose . . . must stop, committee rules. Stuart Winer, The Jerusalem Post, January 4, 2005.
Israel to ban force-feeding of geese. Agence-France Presse, January 4, 2005.