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Juhl [left] with rabbit

Danish DJ bludgeons rabbit to death to prove a point – “live” on air

Juhl [left] with rabbit
Juhl [left] with rabbit
A Danish radio disc jockey is in hot soup after bludgeoning to death a rabbit during a radio show.

Asger Juhl, a presenter with Radio24syv, repeatedly hit a nine-week old rabbit with a bicycle pump until it died even as animal rights activists, who were in the studio, tried to stop him from the ghastly act.

Danish reality TV star and animal rights activist Linse Kessler, who was also in the studio, said she had tried to grab Allan, the rabbit, and chased Mr Juhl around the studio.

She was, however, unsuccessful and was asked to leave.

She later posted a video on Facebook criticising Mr Juhl’s actions.

Miss Kessler said she thought she could have wrested the animal from the disc jockey but feared it would die a more painful death if she grabbed it.

Mr Juhl later said he took the rabbit home, had his children help him skin it, cooked and ate it.

His act, which some called a publicity stunt, has drawn outrage, especially online where a petition has now been set up calling for his dismissal from his radio job. Mr Juhl also told the media that he and his family have received death threats.

Mr Juhl later explained to the media that his intention in killing the rabbit “live” on air was to show up the hypocrisy of our relationship with animals.

"Consumers generally do not kill animals themselves, but we  buy and eat animals, that have lead sad lives," he said.

"You cannot say: 'It's terrible to kill an animal', and then eat meat. These things are connected."

The radio station defended the incident, saying it wanted to highlight cruelty in the farming industry and hypocrisy over animal welfare.

“We didn’t do it for the sake of entertainment,” the radio station later said. “Thousands of animals die each day so that people can eat them.”

Mr Juhl said he had received expert advice from a keeper at Aalborg Zoo on how to kill the rabbit “humanely”.

“They use an iron stick. I didn’t have an iron stick – so I used a bicycle pump,” the DJ said.

The station claimed that the rabbit had “enjoyed a good life”, unlike many of the animals which end up on the meat counter, and that it was killed in “a humane manner.”

He added: “Many people in Denmark are frustrated about us killing the rabbit but at the same time they are having meat for dinner. They are not taking into account that you are supposed to kill an animal before you eat meat. Let me ask you a question: Why would it be wrong to kill an animal and then eat it?”

But his reason for the killing of the rabbit drew little sympathy.

The RSPCA in the United Kingdom said it would have investigated the incident if it had taken place in the UK.

“The use of an animal in this way is completely unacceptable,” the animal protection organisation said.

The petition calling for Mr Juhl’s dismissal has now garnered more than 7,800 signatures.

“While we are all for having discussions on animal welfare - a subject we feel very strongly about - I think we can all agree there are much better ways to do this than by killing a poor defenseless 9 week old baby rabbit,” the petition said.