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Animal lovers attack Gordon Ramsay for showing rabbit killing on TV show
By Paul Revoir Last updated at 9:01 AM on 22nd May 2008
Gordon Ramsay has come under fire for showing a rabbit having its neck broken on his Channel 4 show The F Word. The chef was shown using ferrets to hunt for the creatures with his son before viewers saw the rabbit being killed. Animal lovers have attacked the programme for showing footage of the death. It comes less than a week after Ramsay claimed his eight-year-old son had accidentally pulled off a live rabbit's head during the same expedition. Those comments and Tuesday night's show - which did not feature the incident involving his son - have provoked outrage at Ramsay's behaviour.
The rabbit that was shown being killed on screen was put to death by one of the men who owned the ferrets. RSPCA officers have received calls from viewers expressing their concern about the episode. But the organisation said no laws had been broken. A spokesman said: "We encourage people to let us know if they think an animal has been killed in an inhumane way. We will always investigate. "If anyone is still upset by the programme's content we recommend they contact the programme makers and Ofcom."
Animal rights organisations have reacted with fury to Ramsay's comments about the rabbit's severed head. Juliet Gellatley, director of Viva, said: "'The message that he is giving to his own child and to everybody else is from a different, barbaric age. "It has to be said that he uses these moments to up his own profile, because he knows it will create controversy. That is pretty despicable." A Channel 4 spokesman said: "As part of the current series of Gordon Ramsay's F Word, Gordon features in a regular strand in which he sources and cooks new or unusual ingredients. "Within this strand he explored the viability of finding, hunting and eating wild rabbit, historically a widely-consumed food but no longer part of a mainstream diet. >"The location of the shoot was private land where rabbits cause extensive damage.
In this context Department for the Environment guidelines were being followed and control measures - including ferreting - legal and in place." The rabbit row echoes similar protests made after Jamie Oliver was shown slitting a lamb's throat on one of his Channel 4 shows.
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