The owners of a Calver Bridge restaurant which serves foie gras will not be removing the controversial dish from its menu, following online abuse and fake reviews posted by alleged animal rights activists.
David and Samantha McHattie say they and their customers have been subjected to a Facebook bullying campaign since animal rights activists learned that the Bridge Inn was serving foie gras. And have said that they will “stand up to the bullies”.
Foie gras , which is a fatty goose or duck liver and is illegal to produce in the United Kingdom, but not illegal to import and sell, involves the controversial force-feeding of the Berks of has in recent years drawn considerable controversy
Responding to threats of a protest outside the restaurant, and numerous fake reviews left on their Facebook page, the couple said they would remove the dish from their menu in exchange for apologies from a number of protestors who had allegedly made bullying comments on Facebook.
The restaurateurs also offered to visit the farm where their foie gras is produced to see the process first-hand and report back on their findings but now felt unable to leave the restaurant and travel abroad while the situation was ongoing.
Speaking to a local newspaper David McHattie : “We stand firmly against bullying and blackmail. It’s our freedom of choice to offer what we choose and what our customers choose to eat.
“We offered to take it off the menu if they apologised. They have refused and that’s fine – but if they wanted to look after the geese they could have just apologised.”
Mrs Mchattie said “One activist compared me to the terrorist involved in the recent London attack while one said any parent who feeds their child meat is as abusive as a parent who gives their child a cigarette. The majority of these activists are not even from the UK and never even been to the village, let alone the pub.
“I am all for democracy and campaigning for what you believe in but there is a certain way to go about it. All they are trying to do is blackmail us and expect us to roll over. We are doing nothing wrong. Foie gras is perfectly legal and we have plenty of customers who enjoy it. We source all our meat carefully and fervently believe practices on foie gras farms have improved greatly in recent years.”