Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Australians Want This Toy Banned

The RSPCA is outraged a toy dubbed "choke the chicken" is being sold to young children and encourages them to squeeze the dancing chicken's neck until it flaps around.

"What next? Burn a cat? Shoot a dog?," the RSPCA's Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said today.

"This so-called toy sends out completely the wrong message to children.

"It's entirely possible that 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."

The toy is manufactured by a Taiwanese company, The Dahyang toy Industrial Company Limited, and is widely available in electrical stores across Australia and online through eBay.

It is marketed for children over the age of three.

The wording on the side of the box says: "Grab and lift him up by the neck as he dances.

"He will squawk and cluck like mad, flapping his wings and feet wildly as if he's gagging and choking."

Mr Beatty said "he would like to think he has a sense of humour" but "this is just plain sick".

"The whole concept is grossly irresponsible."

Jaycar electrical stores was one of the main importers of the toy, but managing director Gary Johnstone said he was "amused and mystified" by the RSPCA's response.

"I've got mixed feelings because the RSPCA are a fair and noble organisation, but I would have thought they would have better things to do like saving real animals from cruelty," Mr Johnstone said.

"This is a toy that is used to relieve stress, it's meant to be a bit of a giggle."

(quoted article)


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