SOME Australians, it seems, don’t have the guts to throw a real haggis.
Plans to use a fake haggis in a hurling competition at a Highland festival in Melbourne have split the purists from those who are fearful of the mess a high-speed impacting example of Scotland’s national dish may cause.
Ross Chudleigh, the co- ordinator of next Sunday’s Berwick Highlands Gathering, told a newspaper they had decided to use "simulated haggis" for the competition as they were worried about the mess the real thing would cause.
The simulated haggis would be packed with sand or oatmeal contained in a bag - but would still be thrown in the traditional shot-put style.
However, the decision not to use real haggis has angered traditionalists.
Rob Boyle, a butcher who specialises in importing meat products from Britain and Ireland, commented: "If there’s no haggis, how can it be haggis throwing?"
Mr Boyle has supplied haggis in vacuum-sealed bags to other hurling competitions in Australia. This prevents the meal-turned-missile from splattering on contact with the ground. "I’m a bit of a traditionalist. If you have an egg-and-spoon race you don’t use a golf ball," he said.
Eddie Harman, the Australian hurling champion, said genuine haggis was the only acceptable choice. "If you want to keep up tradition, it should be the real thing," he said.
But Mr Chudleigh maintained his synthetic stance, saying he didn’t think anyone used the real thing in competitions any more on the grounds that it was "too much of a waste".