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Animal lovers slam Choke-A-Chicken toy

Oz kids encouraged to strangle dancing poultry

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How to strangle a chicken - Aussie styleAussie animal lovers are up in arms about a dancing chicken toy which squawks and slaps his wings when strangled, slamming the Taiwanese novelty as "grossly irresponsible", AP reports.

The Choke-a-Chicken is imported into Oz by Jaycar Electronics, which pitches the electronic pet at kiddies over three. The blurb explains:

The Choke-A-Chicken flaps and waddles around doing the Chicken Dance, clucking and flapping its wings in sync with the Chicken Dance melody. Grab him by the neck and he will squawk and cluck like mad, flapping his wings and feet wildly as if he is really being choked. Put him down and he will waddle off, singing and dancing as he goes.

Michael Beatty, spokesman for the Queensland state branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, fumed: "What's next? Burn a cat? Shoot a dog? Children of that age are likely to turn around and try the same thing on their pet bird or even the cat or dog. Then they're going to wonder why the animal fights back."

A bemused Jaycar MD, Gary Johnstone, admitted he was "amused and mystified" by the RSPCA'a stance, adding: "I would have thought they would have better things to do like saving real animals from cruelty. This is a toy that is used to relieve stress, it's meant to be a bit of a giggle."

We agree, but would like to add that Jaycar has missed a trick here. Surely the current avian influenza menace requires all responsible parents to educate their children as to the correct procedure for dealing with chickens? We suggest the company immediately investigate a Cull-a-Romanian-Goose Xmas stocking filler: "Grab him by the neck and he will squawk and cluck like mad until you put him in a black bin liner and throw him on the back of a lorry." ®

Bootnote

The usual thanks to Christopher Winpenny for the poultry-strangling lead.

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