A video stoning a wombat with stones has provoked fierce debate in Australia. The perpetrator is a plainclothes police officer, police said in South Australia on Thursday. She had initiated investigations. "I find the actions in the footage deeply abhorrent and unacceptable," said South Australia Police Chief Grant Stevens.
The video uploaded to Facebook by animal rights activists from the Wombat Awareness Organization shows a man throwing stones at a wombat on a street until the animal appears to be lifeless on the ground. He is filmed by an accomplice who cheers him on. Wombats are domestic, nocturnal marsupials in Australia.
According to local media reports, the man in the video is an Aborigine. According to the law, Aboriginal people in Australia are allowed to kill animals with stones as a traditional form of hunting. The Wombat Awareness Organization has now launched a petition against this practice. The stoning of animals contradicts the animal protection law, it says. Up to the thunderstorm (CEST) had the petition to change the legal situation nearly 90,000 signatures.
Jack Johncock, a tribal elder from the local area, told ABC station that stoning animals was "one of many methods" used by Aborigines to kill animals for food. The petition shows "a lack of understanding of cultural practices".