Israel will ban the force-feeding of geese at the end of this month, following parliamentary approval of a new law resulting from heavy pressure from animal rights campaigners.

The law was passed this week despite government fears that it could ruin Israel’s standing as one of the world’s largest exporters of foie gras, a pâté made from goose liver. Agriculture ministry director general Yossi Yishay said that the law will ruin an important sector of Israeli agriculture.

Israel is the world’s fourth largest exporter of foie gras, amounting to US$16.5m per year, and an industry that employs 500 people throughout the country.