Foie gras off the menu: Country pub stops serving controversial dish after animal rights campaign

Protest outside of The Bricklayers Arms, Flaunden
Protest outside of The Bricklayers Arms, Flaunden

A country pub will stop serving foie gras after a lengthy campaign by animal rights protesters.

The controversial dish will be served at The Bricklayers Arms in Flaunden for a few more weeks until its winter menu comes out.

Owner Alvin Michaels had previously argued that the cruelty involved in producing the delicacy was debatable

He said that whether his pub serves the dish or not should be determined by the laws of supply and demand, not ‘blackmail’ by Hertfordshire Animal Rights.

But after six of the group’s members staged a protest outside of his pub restaurant on Saturday, September 6, he relented.

Hertfordshire Animal rights spokesman Tod Bradbury said: “This is fantastic news and we would like to publicly thank the owners of The Bricklayers Arms for making this decision.”

The group says it has campaigned lawfully against the sale of foie gras at the pub restaurant through ‘online social media actions’ for the last three weeks.

Mr Bradbury said: “Foie gras production is undeniably cruel. It involves forcing metal pipes down the throats of ducks and geese and force-feeding them grain until their livers become diseased.

“Many scientific reports, including those from the EU and independent veterinarians have concluded that the process results in immense suffering to the animals involved in this industry.”

Foie gras is illegal to produce in 12 different countries, including the UK – although it is legal to sell it in this country when it is made abroad.

Referring to the protesters, Bricklayers Arms owner Alvin Michaels said he stopped serving the dish ‘because of all the press they are getting that they do not deserve’.

He said: “They are not very nice people to deal with.”

He said that a lot of hatred has been directed at the pub via social media, email and phone calls.

False bookings have been made online with fake phone numbers by people who then didn’t turn up, he added.

He said there is a chance the pub could start serving foie gras again – if a free range supplier can be found, but this could take ‘quite some time’.

Mr Bradbury said: “Hertfordshire Animal Rights will be continuing our ‘Foie Gras Free Hertfordshire’ campaign until all purveyors across the region stop selling such cruelty.”

Hertfordshire Animal Rights also campaigns against vivisection, the use of animals for entertainment such as circuses and the use of them for clothing such as fur, leather and wool.

It promotes veganism and a ‘cruelty-free lifestyle’.