Peta calls for 'Britain’s oldest pub' to change name from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks and celebrate 'intelligent, sensitive chickens'

The eighth century pub has had its current name since 1872 due to its history of cock fighting

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The Independent Online

Animal rights group Peta is attempting to persuade one of Britain's oldest pubs to change its name to something that is less offensive to chickens.

In its latest campaign, the controversial group asks that Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is renamed to Ye Olde Clever Cocks "in recognition of society’s growing compassion for animals and in celebration of intelligent, sensitive chickens".

The eighth century pub, which is in the Guinness Book of Records as the UK's oldest, has had its current name since 1872 due to its history of cock fighting, a sport which was banned outright in England and Wales in 1835.

Special projects manager Dawn Carr sent an open letter to the chief executive of Mitchells and Butlers, and pub landlord Christo Tofalli, urging them to rethink their association with cock fighting.

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Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub in St Albans, Hertfordshire

As well as listing a number of claimed chicken traits, such as a love of sunbathing and a capacity for structural engineering, Carr urged the pub owners to celebrate a "fascinating but often abused and misunderstood animal".

 

Carr added: "We understand that the pub has long been called Ye Olde Fighting Cocks and that there may be some resistance to making a name change, but just as many pubs with names tied to slavery changed their names to match modern sensibilities, so it’s high time for The Cocks to change.

"If you must stick with tradition, you could revert to the much kinder name from 1756: Three Pigeons."

Landlord Christo Tofalli told the Herts Advertiser that he had a responsibility for preserving the history and heritage of the "oldest pub in the country".

"I wish animal rights organisations all the very best with their priority, which is to continue to raise awareness of cruelty to animals, and to protect them. We will be replying to PETA respectfully," he said.

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