31 Jul 2006

Respect The Humble Conger

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The Telegraph reports:

A charity game in which people try to knock each other over with a 5ft conger eel has been banned after animal rights activists complained that it was “disrespectful” to the dead fish.

Conger cuddling has been staged annually for more than 30 years at the harbour in Lyme Regis, Dorset, as a fund-raising event for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Teams stand on 6in high wooden blocks and others take it in turns to swing a 25lb eel at them. The team with the most people left standing at the end wins.

However, animal activists threatened to film the event and use the footage to start a national campaign against it.

Rob Michael, the chairman of the Lyme Lifeboat Guild, said: “We have been advised by the RNLI headquarters at Poole to abandon the conger cuddling event following a local complaint from animal rights activists.

“The RNLI is not prepared to be involved in an event that may be seen by some to be a barbaric throwback due to its use of a dead animal.”

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