A 100-year-old superstition about rabbits has led to a ban on posters advertising new animated movie Wallace And Gromit: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT on the Isle Of Portland off the west coast of England.

The superstition originates from a century ago when rabbit burrows often caused land slips and, on one occasion, killed a crane operator because the ground beneath him collapsed.

Since then local residents will not even say the word rabbit, instead referring to "furry things" or "underground mutton", convinced that the floppy eared pink-eyed creatures will bring them bad luck.

Aardman Animations, producers of the film, say they are "happy to respect local beliefs and not use the term (rabbit) in advertising for Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit on the island."

The Mayor Of Portland says, "There is certainly a feeling against the word rabbit, especially from the older residents. It is a local superstition, but like any superstition, people take it seriously."