Disgusted by tasteless programme

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 November, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 November, 1993, 12:00am

ON Saturday, November 13, while watching television I witnessed the most appalling show of human cruelty and ignorance I have seen to date.

The programme, shown on TVB Pearl at 9.30pm, was misleadingly entitled The Sex of the Animal Kingdom. Naturally I expected to be entertained with an educational natural history/ wildlife documentary.

What I was confronted with was something quite different: an unnecessary and tasteless display of animal exploitation which could have been intended for nothing more than the mere titillation of those involved in the programme's production.

It was not so much the colloquial descriptions of animals involved in sexual activity (I quote ''waiting to get laid'') that offended me. My disgust lay primarily with the section of the programme devoted to violence. Various animals (prairie dogs, foxes, Alsatians etc) were set up to fight, often in confined spaces.

Dog-fighting is quite understandably illegal in the United Kingdom and I was appalled to see that such savage ''entertainment'' could be allowed prime-time viewing space in Hong Kong.

Most shocking of all was a sequence in which a lioness and a tiger were placed in a cage and allowed (or should I say encouraged?) to tear each other to shreds. Both animals were bleeding profusely and in obvious distress from the encounter. The narrator's justification of this was that ''it would help us to understand animals' behaviour in the wild''. Now I claim to be no wildlife expert, but even I know that lions and tigers do not even inhabit the same country, and thus fail to appreciate how such an upsetting display could be of valuable educational benefit to anyone.

I am surprised, since broadcasting censorship here in Hong Kong is so strict, that this programme was ever allowed to be shown in the first place.

S. CUNNINGHAM Causeway Bay