- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The Royal Shakespeare Company has skipped the idea of skinning a rabbit on stage in New York.

The troupe back in Britain had an actor skin a dead rabbit as part of a dinner scene in “As You Like It,” but won’t do it in New York following an outcry from animal rights activists.

The company says that while the rabbits used in England were sourced responsibly and killed humanely, it wasn’t able to find animals that fulfilled those requirements in New York.

The company’s Facebook page attracted a heated discussion on the issue, with critics deploring the rabbits’ exploitation. But the company says it is “part of a scene illustrating the contrast between court and countryside.”

The company is presenting five Shakespeare plays until Aug. 14 at the Park Avenue Armory.

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