Nevada City, Calif. March 18, 2019 – After PETA tipped off the Nevada City Police Department about The Ham Stand’s plan to host a $200-per-person “Underground Foie Gras Dinner & Wine Pairing” event on March 17, the police immediately informed the Nevada City butcher shop that such an event would violate California’s foie gras ban. The event was canceled, and police officers visited the shop to verify the change in plans.

“It’s against the law to sell the diseased livers of force-fed birds in California, so The Ham Stand’s ‘Underground’ foie gras dinner would have been both cruel and illegal,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA hopes that the Nevada City Police Department’s swift action will inspire kind people across the state to blow the whistle on any would-be foie gras peddlers.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—notes that in foie gras production, several pounds of fat and grain are pumped into birds’ stomachs every day through tubes shoved down their throats, causing their livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size. In some cases, birds’ organs even rupture. Investigations into farms in the U.S. and Europe have revealed sick, dying, and dead animals—some with holes in their necks from injuries sustained during force-feeding.

More than a dozen countries—including Australia, Germany, and the U.K.—prohibit foie gras production. Companies around the world—including FreshDirect, Whole Foods, and Sam’s Club—refuse to sell it, and top chefs, such as Wolfgang Puck and the late Charlie Trotter, have refused to serve it.