Rabbit Pizza restaurant in New Zealand advertises with billboard made from Real rabbit skins.
This Billboard for Rabbit Pizza is Made from Dead Rabbits.
Hoax or Fact:
As shown in the picture, during the week of Easter in April 2014, a shocking billboard made of Real Rabbit Skins was put up by New Zealand’s Hell Pizza Company — to promote a new flavor of rabbit pizza.
About the Billboard
The billboard had the tagline “Made from real rabbit. Like this billboard,” and advertised a new pie with “smoked wild NZ rabbit, toasted pine nuts, beetroot & horopito relish, cream cheese, rosemary & garnished with fresh spring onions”. As the billboard was covered in rabbit pelts, it created controversy among animal rights activists and others. Critics said the sign represents animal cruelty and it was created in poor taste; the New Zealand Vegetarian Society called it “deplorable,” i.e. deserves strong condemnation.
The dead rabbit skin Pizza Billboard incident created controversy on Hell Pizza’s Facebook page as well, where they later posted a clarification defending the billboard’s material. The company said that their products are ethically sourced and argued that rabbits are unfortunately noted as “pests,” as they are damaging to the New Zealand environment. They said that the rabbit skins are sourced from professional animal tanning company, which gets them from local meat processing companies where the skins are a regular by-product. They said that their Rabbit Pizzas are made purely from wild rabbits from Southland and Otago. Hell Pizza boss Ben Cumming supported the consumption of rabbit meat and said it is not only environmentally sustainable, but also helps to reduce the ‘pests’. They also said that rabbits produce six times more meat on the same feed and water as compared to cows.
Despite the company’s statement in defense, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhech told the Huffington Post UK that Hell Pizza may be in trouble for more than the skinned rabbits on its unappetizing billboard. They raised ethical concerns on how the rabbits were slaughtered — shot, strangled, snared, gassed, or were their spines pulled away from their necks.
It is to be noted that, for their provocative marketing stunts, Hell has been in controversy in the past as well. The rabbit pizza ad being the latest, earlier, the company came up with pizzas named after the Seven Deadly Sins, and in another instance, mailed out condoms to promote their “Lust” pizza.