Watership Downed: radio station defends bunny slaying

Radio host slammed across the world for killing a baby rabbit live on air

The on-air killing of a baby rabbit by Radio24syv presenter Asger Juhl has caused outrage around the world. Juhl said he killed the rabbit – named Allan – by beating it to death with a metal bicycle pump to challenge what he called “the Dane’s hypocritical relationship with animals”.

The killing of the rabbit has created anger across the world. The reaction has surprised station management.

The rabbit story has been reported in places as far flung as Lebanon, India, the USA, Russia and many others. Juhl and others at the station have received death threats.

The strong reaction abroad has surprised Jørgen Ramskov, the chief editor at Radio24Syv.

“My reaction is simple amazement,” said Ramskov. “It is simply beyond my comprehension that it has gone so far. But it confirms our thesis that some animals have a different status than others.”

Hypocritical reaction
Ramskov said the reaction is hypocritical.

“There are millions of animals killed worldwide every day, and many of them live in miserable conditions before being slaughtered, but it is obviously something different when it is a cute little rabbit. That is part of what we were trying to focus on.”

Ramskov said the intent of the debate had been “derailed” and that the rabbit had been killed in a responsible manner with a few blows to the neck.

More Danish animal trouble
Ramskov acknowledged that if he had to do it again, he would have probably not allowed the rabbit to be killed.

“On second thoughts, we would have probably done something differently,” said Ramskov. “But life is lived forwardly and I still believe there must be greater things for the world’s media to write about than this.”

READ MORE: Public outcry as Copenhagen Zoo destroys young giraffe

Even British comic Ricky Gervais weighed in by tweeting: “I just battered a Danish DJ to death with a bicycle pump to show how terrible murder is.”

The incident is the latest to whip up outrage over the Danish treatment of animals. Similar outbursts followed Copenhagen Zoo’s decision last year to kill and publicly dissect a giraffe and, a few weeks later, kill four healthy lions to renew its breeding stock.