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Animal rights experts are demanding consequences after a toy poodle died during a stunt on German television in which a contestant claimed to be able to identify the dog's breed by its hair.

TV Stunt Leaves Poodle Dead

Animal rights experts are demanding consequences after a toy poodle died during a stunt on German television in which a contestant claimed to be able to identify the dog's breed by its hair.

The miniature poodle called "Monarch" was on the show together with its owner and 21 other dogs when the accident happened.

Dog hairdresser Monika Thaler claimed she could identify an animal by its fur and while she went on to win the bet and prove her skill - the cheers from the public and stress of the stage show was too much for the four-year-old toy poodle - which tried to jump off a bench and struck its head in the process.

The German Animal Rights Association said that the dog - small for its breed and an award winner - had been scared by the bright lights and the noise from the public and also from the fact that there were other larger dogs around and as a result it had tried to jump to the floor – bashing its head.

The animal passed out a short while later and then died despite treatment from a vet.

A spokesman for the TV company said: "We do of course regret what happened but the owner who's on the show with her dog has also admitted it was simply an accident. The dog had been taking part in many exhibitions before and was therefore already accustomed to lots of people being around and to the spotlight."

But a spokesman for the German animal protection Society criticised TV firm ZDF and said that dogs did not belong on the stage in such circumstances – especially as it would have been possible for the stunt to be performed without live animals.

Association president Thomas Schröder said: "The mass of people that the animal is presented with together with the bright lights and all the noise of basic not an environment for animals. It would have worked perfectly well without animals on the stage."

The series was the first one of the popular German TV show You Bet involving new presenter Markus Lanz.

German Herald

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