Credits: REUTERS/Paul Darrow
KAMOURASKA, Que. - A Quebec restaurant that serves seal burgers temporarily closed its Facebook page and contacted police after getting bombarded with hateful messages and threats from critics, its owner says.
Perle Morency says the delicacy has enraged animal-rights activists who have gone after her bistro cafe in Kamouraska, Que., about 170 km northeast of Quebec City.
Morency's problems began after a European visitor noticed seal burger on Cote Est's menu.
The restaurant's Facebook page was quickly bombarded with 75 hateful messages in about 20 minutes, she said.
Cote Est was also lambasted on the travel website TripAdvisor.com.
The critics accused Canadians in general, and Morency in particular, of slaughtering baby seals.
"They don't know that hunting is organized here and seals are overpopulated," the exasperated owner told QMI Agency.
"We closed the Facebook page, it was a lot of negative pressure. This was a massive attack."
She filed a report with Quebec provincial police and says she won't be intimidated.
"I even thought about removing the seal burger from the menu, but several people have encouraged us to continue."
One of Morency's fans is a conservationist. Esther Blier runs a group that protects whales and seals that transit through the St. Lawrence River.
"There is a lot of misinformation," Blier said. "The seal is far from being an endangered species and hunting is probably best organized in Canada."
The federal fisheries department says the seal population is at its highest level in 30 years.
"They're attacking the (seal) hunt for political reasons and for the sympathy capital," Blier said. "A seal's face is more charming than that of a cod."