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Brit-based German supermarket Lidl has been ordered to melt down hundreds of thousands of chocolate bunnies because they look exactly like the famous Lindt ones – and chocolate lovers are raging about it.

A court in Switzerland ruled this week that the Lindt bunny was so iconic that it needed to be protected.

This means that copycat versions of the gold-foil covered bunnies must be destroyed as they are now illegal.

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A court statement said: “Destruction is proportionate, especially as it does not necessarily mean that the chocolate as such would have to be destroyed.”

But the news hasn't gone down well with fans of the bunny and its iconic red ribbon and bell around its neck.

Many expressed outrage on Twitter that the products weren't given to children or those in need for free.

One user wrote: “Lindt need to let Lidl donate these bunnies to a food bank!!”

And another posted: “Amazing (that) Lidl (is) told to destroy – suggestion is to melt down and re-use chocolate.

“Can this be done in a sustainable, cost effective way?

“Packaging waste and energy consumption will be significant.”

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While a third wrote: “What a flippin' waste (sic).

“Donate to food banks.”

The court ruled that the bunnies were to be melted down so that the chocolate can be reused, but given that the chocolate has already been tempered, moulded, shaped, set and wrapped it remains to be seen if the products is actually still usable when melted back down.

However, the experts at Chef Talk said: “You can continue to re-melt and temper chocolate several times.

“Re-seed with fresh chocolate if possible, however this in not indefinite.

“You can always reuse the chocolate to add to mousses, icings, baking etc.

“In that way you can continue to melt and reheat it several times.

“It will though break down eventually so don't try to stretch it too far!”

The Daily Star has reached out to Lidl for a comment.

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