SRG ombudsman supports complaint submitted by TIR regarding a cooking show
In October 2018, the Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (TIR) lodged a program complaint with the SRG ombudsman's office for the German-speaking part of Switzerland. TIR criticized the cooking show "David Rocco - Süsse Indien-Küche" (David Rocco - Sweet India Kitchen), which was aired on SRF Zwei and showed live crabs having their claws broken off and their shells removed while fully conscious. The deputy ombudsman supported TIR's complaint in his final report of December 5, 2018.
December 14, 2018
This "cleaning" method causes the crabs extreme pain and suffering and is legally considered an act of animal cruelty in Switzerland and is punishable according to article 26 of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In its complaint, TIR criticizes the fact that the program fails to critically point out the obvious animal welfare-related relevance of the crabs' treatment. On the contrary, David Rocco, enthusiastically describes the "cleaning" of the animals as a challenge, while removing its claws and shell while it is fully conscious. In TIR's opinion, this uncritical portrayal of animal cruelty violates the requirement laid down in the RTVA, according to which radio or television program content "may not endanger public morals or glorify or trivialize violence".
In his assessment of the program, the deputy ombudsman also stated that he could very well understand that the practice shown in the video could be unsettling for viewers. He also pointed out the fact that SRG broadcasted a show depicting the torture of an animal without critically commenting on this. It would have been necessary to explicitly make viewers aware of this practice of "crab cleaning" and its animal welfare-related implications. From a journalistic standpoint, it would have been necessary for the SRG to distance itself from the method shown in the program and to explain that the practice is part of the Indian cuisine but is legally considered animal cruelty in Switzerland. Read the ombudsman's full report here (in German).