Protesters call for end to Wadden Sea island ritual, involving a live cockerel
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Protesters call for end to Wadden Sea island ritual, involving a live cockerel

The pole and box containing the cockerel are raised into the sky. Photo: Reyer Boxem/Hollandse Hoogte The pole and box containing the cockerel are raised into the sky. Photo: Reyer Boxem/Hollandse Hoogte

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Animal rights campaigners say a spring ritual on the Wadden Sea island of Schiermonnikoog should be halted because of cruelty to animals.

The tradition, part of the island’s annual Kallemooi festival, involves placing a cockerel in a basket and hanging it from an 18 metre pole for three days. Animal rights groups say the practice means the bird is kept in isolation, cannot move around or communicate, and breaks animal protection laws several times over.

In addition, the basket does not offer sufficient protection against the weather, they say. ‘We can no longer abuse animals for a tradition,’ the organisations say. ‘And there are plenty of alternatives to allow the festival to continue without mistreating animals.’ The festival takes place from May 19 to 22, to coincide with Whitsun. (DutchNews)

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