According to the SMH, "Belgium plans to stop Boy Scouts from slaughtering chickens and other small animals at summer camp, despite Scout leaders' defence of the practice as a lesson in wilderness survival."
I always assumed that causing the slow, painful death of innocent creatures was one of the main activities of Boy Scout troops. All that inane chanting and swearing of allegiance to characters from the Jungle Book would be enough to lead any healthy boy to ritual killings and woggle-abuse.*
A representative of the Belgian Boy Scouts has defended the practice: "These kids have to be taught how to kill an animal in order to feed themselves". (He might have added that it also teaches them scientific method.) Unfortunately for Akela the Impaler and his troop, the Belgian Health Ministry is adamant that the practice is not only cruel, but pointless.
Fair enough. But amid the concern over so-called "animal cruelty" and "inappropriate activities" nobody has asked the most important question - what about the badge? There must be a special chicken killing badge, awarded at the close of camp to the Scout whose hands are bloodiest with poultry gore. Now the government wants to take it away. If Belgian Scouts start hanging themselves with their little ties, I think we know who is to blame.
*Not that I would know. Instead of Boy Scouts, my chosen youth group-cum-paramilitary organisation was the dubiously named Boys Club, run out of a local Anglican church by two clean-cut young Christians who each week would lead us in prayer before spending two hours throwing tennis balls our heads. We didn't go in for animal sacrifice, although we did once have to eat a raw onion, for reasons I have thankfully now forgotten.