Belgian animal rights organization GAIA has filed a complaint against a university student for killing two rabbits in a presentation done in the college itself.
Multimedia student Sibran S. hung the rabbits upside down and broke their necks. People in the audience were also invited to eat the rabbits, who where skinned as part of the presentation, two days later.
GAIA said it was an infringement of Article 1 of the Animal Protection and Welfare Law which makes it illegal to harm or kill animals unnecessarily. Violators face 1 to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of up to 12,000 euros.
“Such senseless atrocities done in the name of art at an accredited art college and with the apparent consent of indifferent teachers are unacceptable. It says a lot, if not everything, about the appalling lack of ethics of the student, as well as the teachers at Ghent Royal Academy of Fine Arts,” GAIA said in a statement.
GAIA is asking the Academy’s directors to make clear that artistic freedom is not limitless, especially when it comes to the use of defenceless beings, which are protected by law. GAIA wishes to remind everyone that artists are not above the law and is urging the Academy to intervene in the matter.