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Outrage after rabbit slaughter broadcast

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.

Outrage after rabbit slaughter broadcast

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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OFFBEAT

Swede’s surprise fika thief: this very cheeky little fox

You know when you're enjoying a fika at your Swedish summer house and then suddenly a fox walks up to you and rudely finishes all your coffee?

Swede's surprise fika thief: this very cheeky little fox
The Swedish fika fox. Photo: Viktor Risling

That's what happened to Viktor Risling in Grötlingbo on the island of Gotland.

“At first I thought there was something yellow walking towards me. I looked up and saw it was a fox. It came very close. I put my hand towards it and it smelled my hand. After that it smelled my coffee,” he told The Local on Tuesday.

“Then it drank the coffee right beside me. It was very nice to be so close to nature.”

Risling snapped a series of pictures of his unexpected fika companion and posted them on social media. They quickly went viral after the Dagens Nyheter newspaper first picked up the strange story.

But the guest's table manners left something to be desired when he knocked the cup over to drink.

“The fox enjoyed the coffee a lot. It's a wild animal so it can't behave properly. But it will learn, we are working on it,” laughed Risling.

The daring animal missed out on the standard Swedish cinnamon roll with his coffee, but Risling revealed that he did still get a special treat.

“It came back today, and I gave it some turkey. It enjoyed it. I got a friend now.”

Interview by The Local's intern Saina Behnejad.