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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Wallace and Gromit spook island
Posters for the new Wallace and Gromit film in a south coast town will not feature the word "rabbit" because of a local superstition.

Because burrowing can cause landslips in quarries, residents of Portland, Dorset, instead call the creatures underground mutton or furry things.

Posters for the new film, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, on Portland do not use the word, to respect local folklore.

Instead they simply say "Something bunny is going on".

Les Ames, mayor of Weymouth and Portland, told BBC News that the animals could cause dangerous landslips in the quarries the isle is famous for.

"If the word rabbit is used in company in Portland there is generally a bit of a hush," he said.

"In the olden days when quarrying was done by hand, if one of these animals was seen in the area, the quarryman would pack up and go home for the day - until the safety of the area had been reconnoitred.

"It is an unwritten rule in Portland that you do not use the word rabbit."

A spokesman for Aardman Animations said they were happy to respect local folklore.

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