San Diego

Mister A's, Mille Fleurs Accused of Ducking State Law, Serving Foie Gras in Animal Rights Group's Lawsuit

HERMOSA BEACH, CA - JUNE 29: Foie gras dishes are prepared at Hot's Kitchen during a "Farewell Fois Gras" event on June 29, 2012 in Hermosa Beach, California. It was the last weekend foie gras could be served in California restaurants as a ban enacted nearly eight years prior on foie gras, fattened duck or goose liver, took effect on July 1. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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An animal rights group has filed a lawsuit against two local restaurants for allegedly selling foie gras in defiance of a ban on the dish's sale in California eateries.

The suit filed Friday in San Diego Superior Court by the Animal Protection and Rescue League alleges that Mister A's in Bankers Hill and Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe have been selling foie gras from force-fed ducks despite California restaurants being banned from doing so.

According to the APRL, foie gras is produced by placing metal pipes into the throats of ducks and force feeding them, causing their livers to swell up to 12 times their normal size.

Representatives from the restaurants did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Also named as a defendant is Bertrand Hug, who owns both restaurants. Hug told the Rancho Santa Fe Review last month that he was selling Mister A's, but would remain involved with Mille Fleurs' daily operations.

Attorney Bryan Pease, representing APRL in the suit, said the group has held protests over the years outside both restaurants, which led to the eateries temporarily removing foie gras from their menus, only to "quietly re- add it back to the menu later when they thought no one was looking."

The state's ban was recently challenged by foie gras producers from outside California. A federal judge ruled in 2020 that the ban would remain in place for restaurants and retailers, but customers could purchase foie gras from out of state and have it delivered to them.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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