1. News & Issues

Undercover Animal Cruelty Video Banned by YouTube

By May 2, 2011

Follow me on:

Because of the graphic depiction of animal cruelty, YouTube has banned Mercy for Animals' undercover video of animal cruelty at the E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas.

Shot in March of this year, the video begins with employees bashing in the heads of calves with pickaxes and hammers. The rest of the video? I couldn't watch most of it, but MFA says it depicts employees "dragging them by their ears, standing on their necks, burning them, and neglecting them to die without proper veterinary care." It ends with the group's website and the message, "Boycott animal abuse. Choose vegan." MFA has turned the evidence over to local law enforcement authorities so that the violations of Texas' animal cruelty laws can be prosecuted.

In banning the video, YouTube told MFA, "It's not okay to post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies or similar things intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional educational or documentary context and information."

But MFA points out that YouTube still allows videos that glorify hunting and other animal exploitation. In an open letter to YouTube, MFA Executive Director Nathan Runkle replied, "YouTube seems to be sending a message that hurting animals for fun or profit is acceptable but speaking out against such abuses is not . . . Without open dialogue in a free society, broken systems remain unchallenged and unchanged."

YouTube has allowed undercover animal cruelty videos in the past, but I'll admit that this one is more disturbing than most. However, I think the educational context is there, and I totally disagree with YouTube's removal of the video.

The removal of the video comes as three states - Florida, Iowa and Minnesota - consider making it a crime to shoot an undercover video of a farm. This can only mean that the videos are effective and the industry is scared.

Although the video has been removed from YouTube, you can still view it via Vimeo on MFA's website.

Update: The video is now available on YouTube again, but has been removed by Vimeo because of its "depiction of excessive violence against animals." MFA has asked Vimeo to reinstate the video.

Suggested Links:

Follow Me on Twitter


May 5, 2011 at 6:01 am
(1) Gene Yakub says:

Spotlights are going to be shone into dark corners no matter how much effort is made to protect wrong doers. It’s that time now, it’s a wave which is not going to be stopped. In the meantime, for those who care for and about animals, it’s going to be painful and I suggest we do not retaliate with anger, hatred, cuss words, etc. as that simply adds more violence to the already violent situations. Instead, let’s say our piece feeling the love we have for those without human voices, politely and calmly, which will be far more effective. Doris is a good example!

May 5, 2011 at 7:39 am
(2) annemarie Duhon says:

I agree that cases of cruelity and abuse should be brought to light. I totally agree that the way cattle are handled is wrong on so many levels. While these atrocities are brought to the surface solutions should be made available also. From the basics of training the animal “handlers” in humane ways to handle their animals to better facilities to accomodate the American taste for beef, chicken and poultry. There are many better ways to raise meat animals that honor the sacrifice the animals make for us. While I am not condoning the abuse only less than 1% of the American Population raises food for the other 99% of us and they too deserve the right to work in the field that they know and beable to support themselves and thier familes. They work daily every day of the year in the “STOCK”market!

May 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm
(3) lindsay says:

there is a harrowing video, purely shot for pleasure on you tube, by TOPVID……….search pig rem to view it.i have ‘flagged’ his video’s for removal many times but they are still there. It makes me sick everytime i think about it, i’m just glad my children never innocently happened upon this, as for me, it’s the last image i have at night….i now HATE you tube

May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm
(4) A says:

Animals have rights! Period! We have the first ammendment right of free speech! Peace and Blessings for all, animals too.

January 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm
(5) Yankee lady says:

I have recently come across several videos from YouTube, all depicting horrendous cruelty to animals – an individual who enjoys torturing cats, and several videos depicting the abysmally cruel practices in Korea and China, where dogs are tormented and cruelly and crudely killed. WHY ARE THESE VIDEOS STILL ON YOUTUBE?

January 24, 2012 at 12:12 am
(6) Adm Tech says:

It’s a tough one for me, I absolutely detest animal cruelty but I think exposing it and stopping it is important.

I don’t know how many sickos actually post videos of themselves hurting animals for “fun”. I did a quick search on youtube and couldn’t find one that fell into this category myself. Maybe I don’t know how to look for these types of videos. Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t find anything.

I think it’s all about context. I have seen some pretty shocking PETA videos and in some cases the perpetrators were later charged for animal cruelty. If you expose something and then the bad guys are prosecuted, is this better than banning all animal cruelty content altogether so there would not be a chance of this occurring? Or can we assume that if the video was given directly to the local authorities that this would have the same result?

January 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm
(7) steve says:

A few years ago I could still watch the cruel “Chinese Fur Farm” videos without a password. I could forward the links and anybody was able to watch how animals in China are skinned alive. I am under the impression that Google supports animal cruelty by blocking these videos. I wasn’t even able to watch them with my Google+ password. Of course you don’t need a password to watch fur fashion shows on Youtube.

March 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm
(8) William says:

I’m to the point where I almost exclusively use Youtube to listen to my favorite songs and that’s it as I’m tired of some of the sick stuff that pops up in the list of videos to the right. Possibly the most disturbing cat related video I’ve ever seen on Youtube popped up as an option on the right while I was watching a video of kittens on a slide. A poor cat got caught in a garage door and was very much alive and crying for help, no doubt pain, yet the video as put up as ENTERTAINMENT. Youtube doesn’t even follow its own guidelines as know several others have flagged it, including myself, but it’s still there a year later.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.