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(Updated 28/02/01)

Animal rights activists hijack german newspaper


Activists of the Hamburg animal rights association “Animal liberators” and the People’s Initiative “Fist and Paw” took over the rooms of the Hamburg Bild newspaper in Kaiser Wilhelm Street last week, in protest against the paper’s “biased and inaccurate reporting” of the facts about so-called ‘fighting dogs’.

At around 2pm last Friday, seven activists armed with banners stormed the offices of the Hamburg Bild newspaper. A spokesman for the organisation said: “We are protesting this way against ‘editorial writing rooms’, against the hate campaign which is stoked up here nearly every day. Victims of the Bild hate campaign are dogs of certain breeds, generally called ‘fighting dogs’.

“The fact that 99% of these dogs wouldn’t have any idea what a dogfight is, doesn’t matter to Bild, any positive reporting in this matter has been banned at Bild. Dog owners, whatever their race, are feeling discriminated against with the help of the Bild newspaper.

“Abuse in the streets doesn’t stop. After open season had been declared on every dog whose breed might be classed as a “fighting dog”, or has had to take his last breath in the dog camp Harburg, owners of other breeds have come under fire. If necessary a poodle will be exchanged for a Pit Bull.”

The protestors were eventually ejected from the newspaper by police officers, but their protest has inspired anti-BSL campaigners in Germany and around the world.

The Association’s spokesman added: “We demand a return to reporting without prejudice in the Bild newspaper. Even if the reporters feel that ‘free of prejudice’ belongs to a different language, the insufferable reporting on this burning issue can’t end in a witch hunt mentality.

“We don’t want disturbed people with aggressive dogs in the town. But we don’t want distanced reporters who raise the fire and fan the flames to sell their paper.”