Monday, December 25, 2006

SPCA Says No Choking The Chicken This Christmas

Don’t choke that chicken That is the message from the SPCA after it discovered a “Choke-A-Chicken” toy on the shelves of local stores. The toy now has the SPCA squawking “foul play!” The cute cuddly toy, released for Christmas, has raised concerns about encouraging cruelty to animals and sending the wrong message to impressionable children. Two versions of the toy in question, Choke-A-Chicken and Choke-A-Duck, issue a song when their wings are touched and squawk when their necks are pulled. Christine Kuch of the NSPCA said: “We have asked Redgwoods (the company that operates toy stores) to remove these toys, as they put out a wrong message to children. “Research shows that in children there is a link between violence to animals and violence to humans. “If a dog barks and irritates a child, will that child try to wring the dog’s neck to get it to keep quiet? “This really isn’t funny; people who sell these kinds of toys have to take responsibility for their products.“The fowl sings and flaps its wings, so people are buying them without realising that you have to choke them to shut them up. “The NSPCA condemns the sale of these toys as a matter of principle and ethics,” she said. Redgwood’s director Issy Zimmerman stressed he had acknowledged the SPCA’s concern, as well as consulting with several other animal-rights groups. “As an animal lover and pet owner, I personally don’t see the connection between heinous acts of cruelty and a battery-operated toy. “Nonetheless, I have terminated all re-orders and replenishments of this toy, at a great cost to the company,” he said. Zimmerman pointed out the toys did not resemble real-life counterparts, and were intended to be novelty and comical items. He stressed there had been no outrage in first-world markets overseas in which the toy was sold. But in response to local reaction there wouldn’t be re-orders .