A public outcry of "shame" and "horror" has met a Manawatū More FM radio competition entitled "Bunny Bingo" which offered a live rabbit as a prize for predicting where it would poo.
The competition, with a rabbit supplied by local pet shop Wet Pets, was run through More FM Manawatū 92.2 and held at the Palmerston North Mitre 10 Mega store.
An advertisement for the competition on the More FM Manawatu Facebook page showed a rabbit in a cage at the Mitre 10 store and announced: "There are over 600 Easter eggs to find at Stewart's Mitre 10 Mega today!"
"We are also playing Bunny Bingo. If you can guess where our More FM bunny leaves some little 'messages' then you'll go into the draw to WIN a real bunny this Easter".
The post, made earlier today, has since been savaged by angry comments.
"Shame on you, More FM Manawatū, and Wet Pets for giving away a live bunny as a prize. Bunnies are a 10-year commitment and responsibility and are NOT prizes that should be given out willy nilly. Please be more responsible with our furry friends in the future," one person wrote.
"Shame shame shame on you. We work all year to educate people that rabbits don't belong in jail cell style hutches" another said.
"Your Easter Bunny competition is truly horrible!" another added.
"Hey, giving away a REAL LIFE BUNNY is NOT COOL! ... Bunnies are a 10 year (!!!) commitment and not a toy!" another post went.
A spokesperson for MediaWorks, which owns More FM, told the Herald on Sunday it stood by the competition.
"The More FM Easter promotion to give away a rabbit was run in conjunction with Mitre 10 and Wet Pets, a reputable pet store and only those who chose to enter, were eligible to win.
"The prize included all of the essential items required to care for the pet and was given to a local family with experience looking after rabbits."
When Mitre 10 was alerted on its national Facebook page of the "Bunny Bingo" competition in the Palmerston North store, it claimed the wider Mitre 10 national management had no knowledge of the competition.
"Thanks for letting us know about this. It looks like this has been organised by a local radio station and we don't know at this stage how involved the store has been with it - we'll follow up to try to find out more," Mitre 10 New Zealand commented.
Wet Pets management was not available for comment when approached by the Herald on Sunday.