Listeners of Oxfordshire-based radio station Jack FM have been asked to vote to decide the fate of two turkeys this Christmas.
They can choose to either “cook” or “keep” the birds, which have been named Sage and Onion.
In a move that the RSPCA has condemned, if the vote swings in favour of swinging the axe, the turkeys will be slaughtered live on air and served to listeners at a Christmas party.
Regulator Ofcom said the stunt had so far attracted five complaints, but a spokesman stressed it could not stop it going ahead – only investigate retrospectively.
The birds are the only two left at Callow Farm, Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, with compatriots already having met their maker in the name of Christmas dinner.
Voting currently stands at 52% in favour of cooking the birds.
Breakfast presenter Trevor Marshall said the majority of people in the UK eat meat. “If they have a problem with this then they’re hypocrites and should be opting for the nut roast.
“There is nothing better than one of these free-range birds who have literally spent their lives running through orchards,” he added.
See also: Read more on turkeys
An RSPCA spokesman said: “We would strongly urge the radio production team to rethink this stunt.
“While we appreciate this is intended as a light-hearted festive feature the RSPCA opposes practices that have the potential to cause animals pain, suffering or death in the name of entertainment.
“The RSPCA does not see the entertainment value in killing an animal for this purpose.
It urged the station to adhere to all regulation surrounding the humane slaughter of poultry, if that was the way the vote went.
A number of listeners took to the station’s Facebook page to register strong opinions. While a number were supportive, many felt the stunt was a bad idea.
Comments ranged from calling for consideration for “compassionate sentient beings” to calling the presenters “sick psychotic individuals”.
What are your views – is the stunt in bad taste, or is it highlighting where people’s food comes from? Email Jake.Davies@rbi.co.uk or leave your comments below.