New World Animal Protection Report Says Cruel, Fake Animal Rescue Videos Still Present on YouTube
TORONTO, June 30, 2021 / CNW / – A new investigation from global charity World Animal Protection further exposes the shocking scale of a cruel and disturbing craze on YouTube – the rise of videos depicting bogus animal rescues involving wild animals.
In these videos, an animal, such as a dog or a chicken, is filmed to fall prey to a large predator, such as a snake or a crocodile. You can hear the terrified cries of the animals as they fear for their lives and try to break free from being trapped by predators such as a python. Although the prey are ultimately rescued, they face visible distress and trauma, and shouldn’t have been in such a terrifying situation in the first place. Cruelty is set up and inflicted for entertainment.
This follows a recent survey by Free thinker lady who identified 17 of those videos, across six different channels, collectively racking up over 40 million views, with nearly three million subscribers.
In their report Views that abuse, World Animal Protection researchers have uncovered gruesome findings, including:
- Over 180 videos showing fake animal rescues – all posted between October 2018 and May 2021.
- 70 of which were put online in 2021 alone, a sign of a worrying upsurge in this type of cruel entertainment.
- The 50 most viewed fake animal rescue videos were downloaded from 28 different channels, totaling 13 million subscribers, over 133 million views and half a million likes.
Animal advocate, comedian, actor and director, Ricky gervais, spoke on the videos, calling on YouTube to take action. He says, âJust when you think you’ve heard it all, humans think of another way to be cruel to animals. Social media giants like YouTube should be at the forefront when it comes to ban this disgusting content from their platforms. “
Regarding, the investigation found that 47 new fake animal rescue videos have been released since the end of March 2021, after YouTube publicly pledged to crack down on animal cruelty content.
Due to the popularity and number of views, content producers will also make money from advertising which means they directly benefit from the people who watch the animals suffer.
Apart from the implications for animal welfare, the survey also highlights serious conservation issues associated with this type of entertainment, as endangered and critically endangered species such as the Siamese crocodile and the Gibbon Lar feature in the videos.
World Animal Protection wrote to YouTube asking it to keep its promise and urgently act on this issue. Although so far cries have fallen on deaf ears, YouTube is leaning on the general public to report the cruelty. Either way, research has shown that many of these videos have been on the site for months, showing that the current system in place is not working.
Ben williamson, Director of Programs for World Animal Protection US says, âThere is no doubt that the animals in these videos will have suffered severe psychological injuries and trauma, just for cheap thrills for viewers at home. We are also concerned that these videos will become more popular. , with a greater variety of species and the worsening of the severity of suffering. Every day these clips stay online, they accumulate more and more viewers and the more popular this phenomenon becomes. If urgent action is not taken, we could see an increase in copycat content emerges – putting more animals and people at risk. “
This research follows World Animal Protection’s pioneering work with Instagram, which alerted them to the explosive trend of posting wild animal selfies on the site. Due to the association’s outreach work on this issue and constructive discussions with Instagram, the platform took action to resolve the situation. Specifically, the charity documented in its report ‘A close-up on cruelty ‘, that this nefarious selfie trend was at the root of the suffering and exploitation of some of the world’s most iconic animals, such as sloths and monkeys.
At the time of publication of this report, some of the fake animal rescue videos had been removed in response to the media attention focused on the issue. However, the vast majority of the content described in this report was still publicly available.
World Animal Protection calls on YouTube to keep its promise and immediately remove abusive content that clearly violates its stated community standards. Longer term, YouTube should publicly share its plans to proactively prevent the release of cruel content rather than relying on the public to report it. Money, resources and time must be channeled to end this cruelty immediately.
About World Animal Protection
From our offices around the world, including China, Brazil, Kenya and Canada, we move the world to protect animals. Last year, we gave more than 220 million animals a better life through our campaigns focused on Animals in the Wild, Animals in Disaster, Animals in Communities and Animals in Agriculture . For more information visit www.worldanimalprotection.ca.
SOURCE World Animal Protection
For more information: Please contact Nina Devries, [emailÂ protected] for interviews with a spokesperson, images and B-roll.