- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Danish radio host is facing calls for termination after he killed a rabbit on air during a segment on animal cruelty.

Radio24syv has defended presenter Asger Juhl for exposing “the vast hypocrisy surrounding our relationship with animals,” after he killed a rabbit live on-air and cooked it.

Mr. Juhl said he killed the 9-month-old rabbit, named Allan, by hitting him over the head with a bicycle pump. Radio24syv posted a video of the rabbit being cooked by Mr. Juhl in a pot.

The stunt is being heavily criticized by animal welfare activists, and an online petition calling on Radio24syv to fire Mr. Juhl had gained more than 3,200 signatures by 4:25 p.m. ET Tuesday.

The station explained in a statement on its website that Mr. Juhl intended to “stir a debate about the hypocrisy when it comes to perceptions of cruelty towards animals.”

“We anticipated strong reactions,” the station said. “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. But it is not an empty provocation; the presenters of the program ate the animal after killing it,” Radio24syv said.

The station said the concept of animal welfare needs to expand to the food industry.

“These animals have often endured horrific suffering on their way to our dinner tables,” the station said. “These animals are killed according to the same controlled conditions as our studio rabbit, and without it invoking any strong reactions or calls for boycott. We at least believe that the studio rabbit have had a comfortable existence.”

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