Sussex

Vegans banned by Lewes pub during hunt

An employee has been suspended following the banning of vegans
Image caption An employee has been suspended following the banning of vegans

Vegans were banned from a pub during a Boxing Day hunt, leading to a backlash on social media.

Some people accused The Dorset pub in Lewes, East Sussex, of being "discriminatory".

Harvey's, the brewery which owns The Dorset, said it was "appalled", and an employee had been suspended over the "inappropriate" sign.

Sussex Police were called when scuffles broke out between those taking part in the hunt and protesters.

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The Dorset caters for vegans, but banned them temporarily

According to its menu, the pub in Malling Street caters for vegan and gluten-free customers, and it was only during the hunt when the sign appeared in the window.

On Twitter, Gilly Smith said: "Isolating and discriminating against their own customers? Really clever marketing ploy. Should be ashamed of themselves and boycotted."

A spokesman for Harvey's said: "Following the comments generated by [the] inaccurate, insensitive and inappropriate poster, the company would like to issue a formal apology for any confusion, offence or upset it may have caused.

"Harvey's do not concur with the sentiment of this sign in any way, and are appalled at the inconsiderate actions of the individual in question... [an] employee has been suspended pending an ongoing investigation.

"Harvey's are fully committed to the inclusivity of all guests. We... would like to reassure current and future patrons that all are welcome in our establishments. This will not happen again."

The England and Wales hunting ban came into force in 2005 and saw the practice change to drag hunting, in which hounds and riders follow an artificial scent.

Hunts remain controversial and violent clashes with protesters were seen elsewhere on Boxing Day.

The Dorset pub deactivated its Facebook page after the photo was shared more than 100 times.

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