Barmy shop bosses axed a tiny pig from a kids’ toy farm set – in case it upset Muslim and Jewish parents.
An angry mum complained to the Early Learning Centre when she found the pig missing and was told it had been removed for “religious reasons”.
The mother, named only as Caroline, found there was no porker with the cow, sheep, chicken, horse and dog in the store’s HappyLand Goosefeather Farm.
There was an empty sty in the farm set she bought for her daughter’s first birthday – and a button that made an oinking noise when pressed.
1 in 5 “no” to swine
Around a fifth of the world’s population refuses to eat pork products on religious grounds.
Muslims, Jews, Christian Seventh-Day Adventists and Rastafarians all consider pork taboo.
Some Eastern Orthodox churches also discourage followers from eating pork but are not overly strict. The ancient Hebrews are thought to have been the first to ban pork.
Muslims believe the pig is unclean as it eats dirt and muck. Jews also believe pigs are unclean – along with camels, hares, various birds, all shellfish and certain fish.
But after writing to the ELC’s customer services she got an email reply admitting the pig had been removed in case it upset Muslim or Jewish parents. Both religions ban the eating of pork because they consider the pig an unclean animal.
The email said: “Previously the pig was part of the Goosefeather Farm. However due to customer feedback and religious reasons this is no longer part of the farm.”
Furious Caroline yesterday accused the ELC of an astonishing over-reaction. She added: “This is political correctness gone loopy. Surely if someone has an issue with a toy, they don’t buy it.”
Astonished parents, including Muslim mums, yesterday agreed with Caroline.
A mum named Safiyyah said on parenting website Netmums: “I’m Muslim and it doesn’t bother me. It’s just another animal.
“What are the store going to do next? Ban the Peppa Pig cartoon? Stop selling books with pigs in? This is a multi-cultural country.”
Fellow Muslim mum Natasha added: “If you don’t want your kid playing with a pig toy, simply throw it in the bin. Other kids should not have to suffer.” Netmums’ founder Siobhan Freegard said: “Removing pigs from farm sets is like introducing ‘Baa Baa White Sheep’ and calling Christmas ‘The Winter Holiday.’ Please let common sense prevail.”
Alec Suttenwood, chairman of the Anti-Political Correctness group, said the ban was “ridiculous.” He added: “Pigs are kept on farms – it is a fact of life.”
ELC said: “The decision to remove the pig was taken in reaction to customer feedback in some parts of the world.”
But after The Sun intervened ELC admitted it made a pig’s ear of the episode and said the porker will return.
A spokeswoman said: “We recognise that pigs are familiar farm animals – especially for our UK customers.
“We have taken the decision to reinstate the pig and to no longer sell the set in international markets where it might create an issue.”
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