Highgate pub stops serving foie gras after customer’s complaint
13:00 26 July 2013
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A Highgate pub has taken foie gras off its menu after a customer contacted the manager explaining how the dish is made.
Ana St Clair, of Hornsey Road, emailed an article to The Star pub in Chester Road, which detailed how geese and ducks are force-fed through pipes to fatten their livers.
Shortly afterwards she received a reply from general manager Duncan Watson-Steward, who said foie gras would not be served at the pub as of last Monday.
Ms St Clair, a member of the charitable group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said: “Foie gras is highly controversial – it’s the cruellest product available on the market, so I thought I should write to the pub and let them know.”
She said she saw it on the menu when she visited the pub after a friend’s funeral and decided to send the PETA article she had read about how foie gras is produced.
“I was surprised to hear back so quickly but I was very happy,” she said. “This is a brilliant outcome for everyone, especially if it raises awareness.
“When I saw it on the menu I just felt like I needed to say something because there is so much controversy around it and some people haven’t got a clue about all the background and how it is made.”
Foie gras production is banned in the UK under animal welfare laws, but it is not illegal to sell or serve it.
Mr Watson-Steward said he had reservations about serving the product but after reading about birds being restrained and force-fed with grain fat before being slaughtered, he took action.
“It was selling well and nobody had complained to us until Ana got in touch,” he said. “We want to work with our local community to make this a great pub so we’re keen to hear people’s feedback. We’ve also taken mackerel off the menu when we found out it was an endangered species.”
Foie gras, which means fatty liver, was taken off the menu in the House of Lords last year, while Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground and the Royal Shakespeare Company have all pledged not to serve or sell it.