A plastic toy pig was removed from a children’s farmyard set by the Early Learning Centre (ELC) for fear of offending Muslims and Jews, it has emerged.
ELC’s HappyLand Goosefeather Farm set included a chicken, a horse, a cow and a sheep, as well as a pig sty. But no pig was included.
When one mum, named only as Caroline, complained to ELC, she was told it had been removed because of “customer feedback and religious reasons”. Islam and Judaism are among the faiths which view pigs as unclean.
The decision has drawn fire from mothers.
Caroline, who bought the Farmyard set for her daughter’s birthday, exclaimed: “Surely if someone has issue with a toy that they don’t agree with, then don’t buy it!”
Other mothers have expressed their disbelief on the internet forum netmums, calling ELC’s move “ridiculous”, and “madness”.
Muslim mums on the site questioned why the pig had ever been removed.
A Muslim mum named Safiyyah said “its just another animal” and she asked whether characters such as Peppa Pig would be banned.
She said the solution was “simple”; if you don’t want the toy pig, don’t buy the product, or take the pig out.
Another mum, who said she was part of a “muslim household”, commented that it is “up to the parent” whether children play with the pig or not.
The ELC has now responded to media coverage of the story by deciding to “reinstate the pig and to no longer sell the set in international markets where it might create an issue.”
The company says any customers who have bought the set recently can now get a free toy pig from the ELC website.