RABBIT loving magician Paul Daniels has dismissed calls to drop live animals from his act after being bitten by one of his own pets – as he hasn’t used any for several years.

PETA, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, even offered to send the veteran entertainer a stuffed bunny to use.

The group wrote to the Middlesbrough-born magician in light of Mr Daniels tweeting that he needed a tetanus injection after one of his rabbits took a nibble on one of his fingers.

However, the magic man’s management company has assured fans and the campaign group that he hasn’t used live animals for years.

Chris Davis said he had seen the letter from PETA and confirmed that the hungry rabbit was a family pet that had not appeared in hislive stage show.

The letter from campaign co-ordinator Kirsty Henderson said: “Times have changed, and while it was never okay to treat animals as living props, an increasing number of productions are seeking alternatives to using live animals in performances.

“Would you therefore please consider using a puppet instead of a live rabbit? We would also love to send you a fake stuffed rabbit that looks like the real animal but would require no cleanup, feeding or housing.”

On New Year’s Day 2012 the illusionist, who is originally from South Bank near Middlesbrough, was making props in his garden shed at his home in Berkshire when a piece of wood leapt up and his left hand went into the spinning blade.

Plastic surgeons saved his index finger but were unable to save the top of his ring finger.