Ethical Issues Concerning the Public Viewing of Media Broadcasts of Animal Cruelty

Tiplady, C.M, Walsh, D.M and Phillips, C.J.C (2015) Ethical Issues Concerning the Public Viewing of Media Broadcasts of Animal Cruelty. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 28 4: 635-645. doi:10.1007/s10806-015-9547-x

Author Tiplady, C.M
Walsh, D.M
Phillips, C.J.C
Title Ethical Issues Concerning the Public Viewing of Media Broadcasts of Animal Cruelty
Journal name Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1187-7863
Publication date 2015-08
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9547-x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 28
Issue 4
Start page 635
End page 645
Total pages 11
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Undercover filming is a method commonly used by animal activist groups to expose animal cruelty and it is important to consider the effects of publically releasing video footage of cruel practices on the viewers’ mental health. Previously, we reported that members of the Australian public were emotionally distressed soon after viewing media broadcasts of cruelty to Australian cattle exported for slaughter in Indonesia in 2011. To explore if there were any long term impacts from exposure to media on this issue, a self-selecting group of 15 people who were exposed to a documentary exposé of the cruelty were re-interviewed 12 months later. Nearly all recalled their strong initial reaction to the footage. Approximately one half of the respondents who initially had had a strong emotional reaction to the footage reported negative reactions that were still strong even after this period of time. They reported potential triggers for these feelings. Of the rest, some managed to internalise their feelings. Approximately one half of respondents were unaware of continued live export exposés, suggesting less prominent media coverage. Despite the aversion and repulsion reported after viewing the initial coverage, most respondents said they would choose to watch another broadcast of animal cruelty and nearly all supported undercover investigations as a means of revealing cruelty to animals. We conclude that many people viewing footage of cruelty to animals will have long term memory of this, but that they would prefer to be informed about the issues and not be protected from them.
Keyword Animal cruelty
Live export
Public attitudes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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