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Outrage after rabbit slaughter broadcast

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Outrage after rabbit slaughter broadcast
08:00 CEST+02:00
National broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) has sustained a wave of outraged reactions from viewers after a news programme showed excerpts from the slaughter of rabbits.

The film of the rabbit slaughter was shown on SVT's Rapport news programme at around 7.30pm. In poor taste, according to many viewers.

"When I watched Rapport yesterday I could not believe what I was seeing, you showed at around 7.30pm how to kill a rabbit with what looked something like a hammer," wrote one outraged viewer.

The news programme ran a story about how rabbit is becoming an increasingly popular dish in Sweden, with 300,000 of the animals slaughtered each year to meet demand.

Many of these are killed illegally, according to the report.

SVT interviewed one of Sweden's five slaughter firms, run by Gösta Johnsson, who argues that approved methods, such as bolt gun, for slaughtering the rabbits are not particularly efficient.

"The brain is about as small as a hazelnut. And you have to hit it in the centre. If the rabbit jerks its head then you miss," he said.

Johnsson instead deploys an alternative method of clubbing the rabbit to death and despite having been fined for the illegal method on several occasions, he continues to defend the practice.

"Hitting an animal in the head is considered very negative in Sweden. But it is by far the safest and best method, which has been used for over a hundred years."

The film of a rabbit being slaughtered using the clubbing method has now been reported to the Broadcasting Commission by a further disgusted viewer.

Rapport editor-in-chief, Morgan Olofsson, has meanwhile defended the decision to broadcast.

"Rapport's mission is to describe reality, had we reported on this without showing the pictures then we wouldn't have done it," he explained, adding that Rapport is no children's programme and that viewers were warned prior to the start of the programme.

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