The owners of a restaurant have said they have been forced to remove foie gras from their menu after being ‘bullied and intimidated’ by animal rights activists.
David and Samantha McHattie decided to axe the French delicacy after a customer was left ‘visibly shaken’ by a ‘torrent of intimidating abuse’ that saw police being called.
Activists staged four protests outside the Bridge Inn at Calver, Derbyshire, in the last few months demanding it stop serving the controversial dish.
The country inn started serving foie gras in March this year but soon became the target of animal rights activists.
The dish is made from the livers of geese or ducks, force fed through a tube that has been pushed down their throats.
The owners said in a statement: ‘While their actions have increased awareness and sales, their behaviour just continues to reach new depths. Which is totally unacceptable to our guests.
‘One regular guest arrived inside the pub visibly shaken after enduring a torrent of intimidating abuse by these so-called animal welfare activists, causing him to call the police.
‘Our family and team have been abused to their face and online, often waking up to 80 or more disparaging comments on their Facebook pages.’
‘Their actions are utterly deplorable. We worry that their escalating attempts to intimidate and abuse will lead to the flash point they and their video cameras crave.’
After the campaign was launched, The Bridge Inn’s business page was hit with 190 one star reviews from people in the UK, Canada, United States, Germany and Argentina.
They claimed users said they would delete the reviews if they took foie gras off the menu.
Customers who left positive reviews were then sent abusive messages.
Mrs McHattie, 35, said: ‘They are just trying to bully us and our customers.
‘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 couple re-opened the refurbished pub in July last year, having purchased it six months before.
Foie gras had been on the menu since it opened, but the restaurant did not receive a complaint until a customer posted about it on Facebook.
A spokesperson for Nottingham Animal Rights said: ‘While this is fantastic news that the Bridge Inn have sense and removed foie gras from the menu, we do not see it as a victory for us.
‘It is a victory for the geese and ducks that are abused and tortured every day to produce such a horribly cruel dish.’