The 3.5-metre inflatable seal in downtown Windsor that was set up by PETA protesters was taken down after an hour. ((Tom Taylor/CBC))

A group of activists protesting the Canadian seal hunt angered veterans in Windsor, Ont., when they set up a 3.5-metre inflatable seal next to the city's war memorial.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) erected the seal at about noon on Wednesday next to the cenotaph located downtown and across the street from City Hall.

PETA had a permit to protest.

But the cenotaph "is a place to be respected" and not a place for protests, said Dennis Holmes, a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 255.

"There's too many people that don't know what it's all about," Holmes told CBC News. "The freedom that the veterans fought for is what it's all about.

"All too often, people just ignore that fact."

PETA member Virginia Fort said she hadn't realized her group wasn't supposed to set up next to the cenotaph.

"It wasn't my intent to offend anyone or upset anyone," Fort said. "And you know, that's actually all I have to say about that."

The giant seal sat at the cenotaph for an hour before city officials had PETA take it down.