Kenneth Branagh has defused a People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) protest after agreeing to retire all of the ducks who appear in his London play DUCKTASTIC to a sanctuary when the show finishes its run on the West End.

Animal rights activists were outraged when they discovered 46 Indian runner ducks were taking to the stage every night - insisting robotic birds are the only ethical option.

But the HARRY POTTER star has succeeded in striking a deal with PETA, who regularly target celebrities who they believe violate animals' rights.

A PETA spokesperson says, "Ducks don't belong on stage any more than Mr Branagh belongs in a pond. What's wrong with mechanical ducks?"