Animal rights activists set to gather outside Derbyshire restaurant in protest at foie gras dish this weekend

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Animal rights activists are gathering outside Calver’s Bridge Inn on Easter Sunday in protest at the restaurant’s refusal to take foie gras off its menu.

The protest comes amidst an online row, with the restaurateurs and several customers accusing protesters of a Facebook bullying campaign during which some 175 bad reviews were left on their Facebook page.

Owners David and Samantha McHattie had offered to take the controversial dish off the menu in exchange for apologies for what they perceived as internet bullying.

But when protestors refused to apologise the McHatties said foie gras would remain on the menu.

David McHattie told the Mercury: “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.”

David said activists had been targeting Facebook users who had defended the restaurant with an online bullying campaign. He added: “This is not about animal cruelty and activism. “It’s about internet trolling.”

The protest starts at 12.30pm.