Angry vegans accuse vet students of 'bestiality' over naked calendar

Angry vegans are accusing vet students of "bestiality" after they posed naked for a controversial fundraising calendar.

"Call me an extremist but anyone else sickened by this bestiality?" one tweet said.

The upcoming UK Royal Vet College's (RVC) annual calendar featured students in the buff holding sheep up by their front legs so the animals' heads covered their genitals.

But it drew anger from pro-vegan animal rights' activist and Twitter user @hargrump, who shared images from the calendar with their followers.

"Would you like to explain what you were trying to achieve with this photo and why you felt it was acceptable to include it in the RVC calendar?" they said.

"Vets are supposed to care for and save animals....not abuse them for a photo opportunity."

The calendar led to widespread online outrage from many other angry vegans.

"Don't tell me that these guys are veterinarians," one person commented.

"Yep. In their final year. Imagine a student doctor taking a photo like that with a child under his care in a paediatric ward," @hargrump replied.

The Veterinary Vegan Network also labelled it as "deeply disturbing", in a now-deleted Facebook post, according to the Guardian.

But the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) defended the photo, saying the way the students were holding the sheep is normal.

"In the image in question, the vet students are demonstrating a standard handling mechanism in animal husbandry - that of tipping a sheep to allow examination of their feet and other areas which would not be examinable in a standing sheep," the BCVA said in a statement.

"This is widely recognised as being safe and pain-free for the animals."

The calendar, which raises money for charity, has since been pulled by the college.