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Storm brews over Chinese synchronised goldfish

Magic trick cruel, say animal rights groups

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Chinese animal rights activists are up in arms over an impressive synchronised goldfish magic trick, due to hit TV screens tomorrow in one of the variety programmes marking the end of the new year holiday.

According to the BBC, magician Fu Yandong releases half a dozen goldfish into a shallow tank, and "somehow gets them to swim together".

The smash hit trick wowed audiences across the country when it appeared on state broadcaster CCTV's New Year's Eve extravaganza earlier this month, but animal lovers are pressuring channels not to give it another airing.

They claim magnets may be prompting the goldfish into their synchronised state. Liu Huili, of the Da'erwen campaign group, decried: "Goldfish are small creatures that anyone can easily buy and abuse, or even kill."

Fu dismissed the claim, splendidly insisting that if he used magnets "the fish would stick together".

He added: "Some people say I use electricity or high technology. They can say what they want, but the fish are safe."

Despite Fu's assertions, the BBC notes that some TV channels, including CCTV, have reportedly agreed to ditch the goldfish. Others, however, will go ahead and feature the magical synchrofish regardless. ®

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