Protests of foie gras 370.
(photo credit:Anonymous for Animal Rights)
The Knesset approved in a preliminary reading on Wednesday the passage of a bill
that would prohibit the trade of foie gras in Israel.
Although the bill –
proposed by MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) in conjunction with animal rights advocacy
groups – originally received a nod from the Ministerial Committee on Legislation
on June 9, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch appealed the decision
on behalf of Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, who feared that a ban on the
product’s import would cause trade retaliations from European countries that
sell foie gras.
The practice of producing foie gras – a liver delicacy
generated by forcefeeding ducks and geese – was banned in Israel about a decade
ago after being deemed abusive, but the import and sale of the product remains
On Thursday, however, Shamir and Lipman came to a
compromise, and the former agreed to lift the appeal with an alteration to the
wording of the bill – namely, instead of prohibiting the import and sales, the
bill would simply ban the trade of foie gras in Israel. Such a ban would allow
for the personal import of the delicacy, but would forbid sales of the item to
If the Knesset passes the bill in its first, second and
third readings, Israel will become the first place in the world to ban the trade
of foie gras within its borders, aside from the state of California.
the preliminary reading, 59 Knesset members supported the proposal and 10
opposed it. After a discussion in its designated Knesset committee, the bill
will be prepared for a first reading.
“I believe that this law will not
only contribute to animals but also to Israel’s image in the world,” Lipman
said. “It’s time to eliminate this soul corrupting food from
Despite fears that enforcing such a law could have a negative
effect on the kosher industry in Europe – which is already under scrutiny from
some animal rights groups there – the European Kosher Slaughter organization and
the European Jewish Congress have expressed support for the bill’s
Anonymous for Animal Rights, the organization responsible for
drafting the bill with Lipman, welcomed the results of the preliminary
“We praise the Knesset members who spoke clearly and decisively
against animal torture,” a statement from the group said. “It is encouraging to
see that opposition to the abuse crossed party lines and ideological movements.”
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