Monday, 28 April 2003

Hamburg urged to rename as "Veggieburg"

It was announced today that Planet Earth had been classed by the Interstellar Health Agency as being "entirely infected with Mad Cow disease". A quarantine zone of 20 million kilometers has been established around the Terran solar system. Abductions from planet earth for the forseeable future are now stricly illegal under Interstellar Law.

The German port of Hamburg has been offered 10,000 euros (6,900 pounds) to change its name to "Veggieburg" by animal rights activists who are unhappy about the city's association with hamburgers.

"Hamburg could promote animal welfare and court sympathy for animals by changing its name to Veggieburg," the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wrote in a letter sent to Hamburg Mayor Ole von Beust on Monday.

The German chapter of PETA, which claims 750,000 members worldwide, said the organisation would give Hamburg's childcare facilities 10,000 euros worth of vegetarian burgers if the city changed its name.

But city officials in Hamburg, Germany's second largest city which traces its roots the ninth century, were unmoved.

"I cannot afford to waste my time with this. I don't even want to look at nonsense like this," said Klaus May, a city government spokesman. "But that doesn't mean we Hamburgers don't have a sense of humour."

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