Animal rights activists descended on a pub in Flaunden on Saturday to protest against the sale of a controversial dish.

Campaigners from Hertfordshire Animal Rights organised a peaceful protest against the sale of foie gras at The Bricklayers Arms, Hogpits Bottom on Saturday evening.

Activists stood outside the main entrance to the pub from 6.15pm to 8.30pm while handing out leaflets and talking about the production of the dish.

Watford Observer:

Foie gras production can involve the force-feeding of ducks and geese, usually through a tube around 20-30cm long, which forces the feed into the animal’s body and this causes the bird’s liver to "fatten".

Alvin Michaels, owner of The Bricklayers Arms, was unable to confirm whether the foie gras sold at the restuarant was produced using the force-feeding method.

Tod Bradbury, spokesperson for Hertfordshire Animal Rights, said: "The whole reason we were there was to show we are a presence. We were able to speak to the owner, which he had been avoiding for three weeks.

"We just stood there, with leaflets, talking to people about the production of foie gras, most people were in agreement with us. There were a few who did not, but there were some who did not know about foie gras production and they were horrified by it and did not agree with it.

Watford Observer:

"By Saturday, we will have a decision on whether they will take it off the menu.

"I spoke about the many scientfic reports showing that force feeding in foie gras causes immense suffering to ducks and geese."

However Mr Michaels said staff had been verbally abused over the policy to sell the dish in the last few weeks and false bookings had been made in the restaurant, but this has stopped in the last week while the restaurant reviews its policy.

The production of foie gras is illegal in the UK and other European countries like Italy, Sweden and Denmark but countries including France, Canada and China all produce the controversial delicacy.

However, the owner of the pub went on to say they are reviewing whether to sell the controversial dish but believe customers have the right to choose whether to eat it.

He said: "We are looking at the ways it is sourced. We are trying to procure it from a source that does not make it in that way.

"We have made contact with a source in Spain that does not produce it in that manner.

"We need to give people choice and let them make up their own minds. People can make their own minds up. We have had a lot of positive support for what we are doing, including from other restaurateurs and our customers."