SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on Wednesday banning the force-feeding of ducks and geese to make foie gras starting in 2012.
The governor said he hoped the long lead time would encourage foie gras producers to find other ways to make the delicacy.
"The bill's intent is to ban the current foie gras production of forcing a tube down a bird's throat to greatly increase the consumption of grain by the bird," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
"It does not ban the food product, foie gras. The bill provides seven and one-half years for agricultural husbandry practices to evolve and perfect a humane way for a duck to consume grain to increase the size of its liver through natural processes."
Animal rights activists say enlarging the birds' livers to produce the delicacy is cruel and have made the issue a priority. Vandals last year trashed a restaurant north of San Francisco and threatened its co-owner at his residence for serving foie gras.