Facebook campaign forces St Albans hotel to remove foie gras

Sopwell House Hotel

Sopwell House Hotel - Credit: Archant

Campaigners are claiming victory after forcing a luxury hotel in St Albans to take foie gras off the menu by giving its restaurant the lowest rating possible and criticising it on its own social networking page.

Foie Gras

Foie Gras - Credit: Debbie White/Archant

Sopwell House, Cottonmill Lane, was targeted by Herts Animal Rights after the group discovered that The Brasserie was offering the controversial product as a starter.

It took animal rights campaigners just eight hours to force Sopwell House to agree to stop serving foie gras, after many posted comments on the hotel’s Facebook page and gave it just a one-star rating in reviews.

Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese through metal pipes until their livers swell up to 10 times their normal size. Its production is illegal in the UK.

One campaigner posted: “No restaurant of high standing should need to stoop to this level just to gain that [sic] extra few customers.”

People commented that they were disgusted and appalled. They urged diners to “avoid this place”.

And one campaigner said: “[It] proves that this venue has no heart. Shame on you Sopwell House!”

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Backing down, the restaurant said on Facebook while it would take a couple of weeks for menus to be reprinted, “please be reassured that we are no longer serving foie gras from this point.”

In announcing the campaign’s victory, Herts Animal Rights spokesman Tod Bradbury said: “We sent an email to the management of The Brasserie at Sopwell House last week, to which they did not respond.

“As a result we asked people to leave comments on their Facebook page asking the restaurant to remove foie gras from their menu.”

The group has thanked Sopwell House for “listening to concerns” and removing the product eight hours after the campaign began.

Sopwell’s response has received applause, with one campaigner saying “well done – barbaric food”.

Another said: “This may seem a small step but to the creatures involved it is the biggest step of their poor lives.”

However not everyone was happy that foie gras had been taken off the menu with one person saying they were “very disappointed”.