Daily Mail censured for video of dog boiling in pot

The Daily Mail Australia has been found guilty of breaching Australian Press Council standards over its publication of a video of a dog being boiled alive.

How Daily Mail Australia headlined the article

The article featured a video which had emerged from China featuring a dog being boiled in a pot of water.

According to the APC investigation of the online article and accompanying video: “A small dog apparently being cooked alive in the wok kicks off the lid of the wok and is barking in apparent agony.

“The lid is again placed over the dog. The dog falls out of the wok about a metre into another large pan where it lies apparently unconscious as villagers remove a large amount of fur from its body. The dog regains consciousness and runs away as the villagers laugh. The article also included four stills from the video and described the footage in detail.”

The Press Council said Daily Mail Australia “said it had no intention to cause offence or distress to its readers, and carefully considered whether and how to publish it. It decided to do so, acknowledging the disturbing nature of the content by including the warnings in the article. It said there was significant public interest in raising awareness in Australia about the substantial dog meat trade in China and elsewhere”.

However, the news watchdog ruled that the public interest did not justify the level of offence caused by the video.

It said: “The Council considers the warnings and the text did not adequately prepare readers for the full effect of the video or eliminate its likely distressing effects.

“The video showed the cooking of a small dog while alive, the removal of a large part of its fur, its apparent agony and attempt to flee. The Council considers that even with the warnings and text,  it was substantially offensive and distressing.”

Daily Mail Australia told Mumbrella: “As a fully paid-up member of the Australian Press Council, we accept the adjudication but firmly stand by the argument we presented [to the adjudication panel] – the subject of animal cruelty sits firmly within the public interest, a fact reflected by the almost 10k shares the article generated. The article also contained several warnings of the graphic nature of the video content within the article.”


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