A hard hitting new video campaign targeting trophy hunters has made a powerful statement by juxtaposing footage of gun-toting hunters stalking their prey, with a beloved household pet.
The video, produced by the Humane Society International Australia (HSIA), shows two hunters celebrating after they succeed in shooting their elusive target.
However, when the two men come across their kill, the video reveals that the victim was not a lion (or elephant or rhino) but a pet border collie.
The hunters then stand by the dead dog and pose alongside it, in a clever reference to the images of U.S. dentist Walter Palmer which went viral after he killed Cecil the Lion in July, as well as the numerous other trophy hunters who are photographed standing proudly alongside their kills.
The statement is clear and powerful – one of these things is considered “an outrage”, while the other is “a sport”.
The HSIA, however, are keen to stress that “No animal is fair game”.
And, in order to make the video campaign even more powerful, the producers did actually use a dead dog in the short film.
Writing on their Facebook page, one of those involved with filming, Rob Flanagan, said:
The dog had lived a great life, but had been euthanised a week before due to a cancer. He came to us for an hour from a Veterinary University.
The HSIA hope the video will make trophy hunters think twice before shooting defenceless animals.
A spokesman for the HSIA added:
The killing of Cecil the lion gave the world a vivid example of the pain and misery left behind by globe-trotting elites whose primary hobby is killing prized specimens of the most beloved and threatened wild animals on the planet.
Sadly, Cecil’s story is not unique – and while hunters continue to kill African lions they are contributing to the steady decline of a species already on the brink. We would like to thank everybody who helped convince 44 airlines to no longer transport hunting trophies from Africa, but we still need to lock in Fedex, UPS and South African Airways.
Today we are turning up the wattage in our campaign against trophy killing by releasing a new video In Memory of Cecil. The killing of Cecil gave the world an inkling of the depravity and selfishness of this subculture that threatens to drive wildlife into extinction.