The controversial French delicacy foie gras is set to be banned in New York City.

City council members are expected to pass a bill preventing the sale of fattened duck and goose livers at restaurants or shops.

Anyone breaching the prohibition could be punished with up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The production of foie gras, which involves force-feeding birds with corn through a tube stuck down their throats, has been labelled “cruel” by animal welfare groups such as Peta.

Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who first proposed the bill in February, said the ban was “common sense”.

“It is not part of the diet of everyday New Yorkers,” she added. “Less than one per cent of all New York City restaurants serve it. This is truly a luxury item.”

Previous attempts to ban the delicacy in the US have been opposed by farmers and businesses, who claim the birds are treated humanely.

Foie gras was banned in Chicago in 2006 but the city ordinance was repealed two years later.

California’s ban on the delicacy was challenged in federal court but the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal brought by farmers and chefs earlier this year.

Wednesday’s meeting of New York City Council is also expected to approve a law banning the sale, capture or possession of pigeons.

Other proposals include the establishment of an animal welfare office and the prohibition of carriage horses from working in temperatures above 90 degrees.

Additional reporting by Associated Press



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