CBSC says LCN breached code by airing ‘animal torture’ clip more than 11 times

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) says repeating video of a horse being mistreated 11 and a half times during a 1 minute, 37 second long report breached the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code.

The CBSC decision concerns a story that aired on LCN’s public affairs morning show Le Québec matin on Nov. 27, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. It repeatedly showed a horse being tied to the back of a pickup truck and dragged through the snow. The video was shown three times before the host warned that the images were not easy to watch. It was then repeated a further seven and a half times in full screen mode. The host informed viewers that the incident had occurred in Colorado and that the couple who owned the horse had been charged. 

A viewer complained that his wife had been “traumatized” by the “animal torture” video and that it was aired at a time when children could be watching without sufficient time to change the channel before the warning. 

The CBSC’s French-Language Panel examined the complaint under the News and Public Affairs provisions of the CAB Violence Code and found that it was acceptable to show the clip, but to repeat it 11.5 times was excessive. It also found LCN in breach uttering a warning after the clip had already been shown three times. In addition, the panel noted that although the host informed viewers that the incident had occurred in Colorado, a banner on the bottom of the screen read “Texas.”  The panel considered that the error was not sufficiently significant as to constitute a code violation for inaccuracy.

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