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Thursday 18 September 2014

Leading TV vet calls Love/Hate cat shooting ‘extremely disturbing and upsetting’

Peter Wedderburn argues that ‘this is something that happens quite often’

Published 08/10/2013 | 11:48

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RTE issued a statement that "no animal was harmed during the making of 'Love/Hate' series four"
Killian Scott as Tommy, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Nidge and Peter Coonan as Fran

A LEADING television vet has joined the chorus of disapproval over the ‘shooting’ of a cat on popular crime show ‘Love/Hate’.

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The machine-gunning of the cat in the opening episode of the new series sparked more complaints than a double murder depicted in the previous season.

The new series is already a hit, with 970,600 people tuning in for the first instalment.

But seven disgruntled viewers called RTE and 10 more emailed complaints to the station after the episode opened with a cat being machine-gunned to death.And the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called the scene "sick and horrendous".

Now, leading vet and journalist Pete Wedderburn has criticised the depiction of the shooting.

“I found it extremely disturbing and upsetting,” he told Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE Radio this morning.

“I have read comments online and a lot of people are asking ‘what’s the big deal about a cat?’.

“My point is that this is something that happens often.

“People know that you’re not meant to shoot and torture humans and people don’t generally do that, but I’m afraid the truth is that people do often shoot and torture cats. It’s something I see regularly in the vet’s surgery.”

The vet said he’s afraid that the scene will further encourage people to think ‘it’s okay’ to harm animals.

“We all have a threshold we don’t cross as humans and we know we don’t injure and kill other humans. It’s like a real taboo in our society, it just doesn’t happen,” he said.

“But a lot of people don’t have that taboo as far as animals are concerned. When you display something that a lot of people already see as okay in the mass media, it will definitely encourage other young hoodlums to do the same.”

In response to RTÉ’S statement that the cat was not harmed during the filming, Wedderburn said; “I’m not talking about the cat itself being harmed at all. That’s not the issue here. 

“The issue is the casual display of something that young people are unfortunately already doing.

“What I’m saying is that I felt disturbed and I know that other people animal-caring people also felt disturbed watching the scene.”

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