A row erupted in France on Tuesday after the mayor of a town in Burgundy sent a letter to parents explaining that, from September, school canteens will no longer offer an alternative when pork is on the menu.

Gilles Platret, of the right wing UMP party, explained to parents in Chalon-sur-Saône that the decision was in line with a "return to the principles of secularism", as the majority of those who refuse pork do so for religious reasons.

School canteens are also a growing battleground. For 31 years in Chalon-sur-Saône, a pork-free choice has been on offer in the school canteen.

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