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Town cancels dead bunny toss

Oct. 22, 2009 at 3:24 PM

WAIAU, New Zealand, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A New Zealand town has canceled its annual dead rabbit-tossing contest for children following protests from animal welfare advocates.

The "Rabbit Throw" has been a tradition in the town of Waiau, which has a population of about 400 people, for years, but town officials said this year's event has been dropped, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday.

The decision came after criticism from the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Charles Cadwallader, an animal cruelty inspector with the charity, said throwing dead rabbits around for fun is disgusting.

"Do you throw your dead grandmother around for a joke at her funeral?" he asked.

However, some locals said they were disappointed by the decision to cancel the event. Jo Moriarty, organizer of a massive pig hunt in the town, attributed the move to political correctness.

"You know, the children of the community here are fantastic, they love their animals," he said.

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