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Rabbits won't be slain for Shakespeare

To skin a rabbit, or not to skin a rabbit? That is the question.

The Royal Shakespeare Company has decided against skinning a rabbit on stage in New York.

The renowned theater troupe will be in residence at the Park Avenue Armory until August 14, performing many of the Bard's beloved plays.

During performances over the pond, a character in "As You Like It" rips the head off of a bunny on stage.

The rabbit was already dead and provided by the RSPCA, the UK equivalent of the ASPCA.

"The rabbits used in the British performances were sourced responsibly and killed humanely," said a statement from The Royal Shakespeare Company.

The scene, they said, was important to illustrate the roughness of country life.

When it was initially reported that a new animal would be provided for each performance, animal activists objected loudly, filing petitions and commenting furiously.

A spokesperson for the production told the Wall Street Journal, "There was a reaction. [The director] didn't want that to distract from the larger production."

The bunny was chopped from the scene.

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