His name was Alan and he was beaten to death live on the radio.
In a live broadcast, hosts of a Danish radio station killed a baby rabbit by issuing repeated blows to his head with a bicycle pump. One of the Radio24syv DJs later skinned Alan and ate him with his children.
The stunt, it is claimed, was designed to draw attention to the “widespread hypocrisy in our relationship to animals,” shining a light on alleged ill-treatment of animals in Denmark’s agriculture sector, The Local reports. It has provoked heated reactions, including calls for the station to be boycotted.
Last year, the killing of a giraffe in a zoo in the capital Copenhagen provoked a similar backlash.
Radio24syv has since defended its decision to broadcast the slaughter, saying it highlighted the hypocrisy of people claiming to be animal lovers, but who eat meat. On Facebook, a spokesperson wrote:
“Danish consumers allow chicken farms to keep 13 chickens per square meter. And they accept lengthy and painful transport of animals to the slaughterhouse.
“In Danish pig farms, 25,000 piglets die every day, because agriculture has bred pigs that give birth to more piglets than the sow can feed. This is wasted life.
“These conditions provoke very few reactions from the consumers. Animal welfare does not seem to apply to animals in the food industry.”
The post continued:
“We anticipated strong reactions. To take the life of an animal brings about strong emotional response in vast segments of the public. It was important to us that the rabbit would not suffer unnecessarily, and was put down accordingly to careful instructions by a professional animal caretaker from a Danish Zoo.
We knew that we would be accused of provocation. And yes, we indeed wanted to provoke the public and to stir a debate about the hypocrisy when it comes to perceptions of cruelty towards animals.”
Reality star and outspoken advocate for human rights, Linse Kessler, was on the programme. She objected to the killing and later posted a video message to Facebook stating that while she understood the point being made, Alan should not have been slaughtered live on air.