ANIMAL rights campaigners are planning a weekend of action against a York restaurant because it has foie gras on the menu.

York Action for Animals (YAFA) says it intends holding demonstrations outside the Blue Bicycle in Fossgate on December 14, 15 and 16.

Its spokesman, Matt Gibbons, said he was expecting around 50 people to attend from throughout the north, but believed it was possible that hundreds of people could turn up, brandishing placards and banners.

Mr Gibbons said the Blue Bicycle was being targeted because it was the only restaurant in York to have foie gras as a permanent feature on the menu. The dish is made from the livers of geese which have been force-fed, a method of production claimed by protesters to be cruel.

At the Blue Bicycle, chefs offer diners ham hock and foie gras terrine with spiced fig chutney and toasted brioche on both the lunch and dinner menus.

Mr Gibbons claimed: "Foie gras is French food, it's foreign and it's dirty and it's cruel - it's very cruel. We just want them to take it off the menu. It's simple.

"The weekend of action will show The Blue Bicycle that we mean business - we will not let this issue drop. In the run-up to the event, YAFA has also organised a number of surprises for the restaurant - all legal, of course - which will catch them off their guard and give them reason to think and consider their support of animal abuse by selling torture in a tin'.

"We're going to get as many people as possible to demonstrate against the Blue Bicycle to let them know that to sell foie gras in this day and age is totally unacceptable. People care about animals and we don't want businesses in York that promote animal cruelty."

A spokeswoman for the Blue Bicycle declined to comment.

The controversy surrounding foie gras hit the headlines after York councillor Paul Blanchard asked City of York Council to ban the sale of the food from the city. The council does not have the power to do this but has banned its sale on its own premises.