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Cosmo&Nanu

Pecking Order

Feathers are flying over plans to use police marksmen to slaughter hundreds of six feet tall emus threatening to invade a city in southern India after their farm owners fled following a 45 milion GBP sting on investors.

The abandoned birds - in Erode, Tamil Nadu state - have no food and no keepers since the owners disappeared from the poultry ranch.

Investors had been hoping to make a fortune from exporting the high-priced meat.

Now officials say they have to kill all the birds before they break out of the farm.

"We cannot afford an Emu riot in the city. We have to kill all the birds and auction the meat," said local tax inspector Sandeep Ganesh.

Emu farms launched in 2006 with high-profile media campaigns, even using film stars as their brand ambassadors. Within five years, around 250 emu farms had opened in the state.

The bubble burst this summer though leaving many who were conned by the promoters facing ruin. The promoters claimed that the meat was being exported to Australia where it was regarded as a delicacy.

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