Dear Norwegian and Bjørn Kjos,
Last week we were flying back from a lovely few days in Stockholm to the UK. It was a very pleasant flight - your planes are wonderful, the service is very friendly, and there's nothing much to complain about.
Except that one of the in-flight 'entertainment' programs that you broadcast is highly inappropriate. Acts displaid in the video would be illegal in Norway by law, but more on that later. The offending video I'm talking about is Mad Animal Home Videos*
Things started innocent enough with some cat- and dog videos (the ones you'd skip if you saw them on YouTube), but then some more disturbing videos appeared, supplied with cheerful music, funny sounds, and laughter.
Because apparently Norwegian thinks it's hilarious to show videos of:
- animals displaying stress behaviour in small confined spaces (we saw a fox, several monkeys, one of them very scabby looking and tied up with a rope so short that it could hardly move - hilarious!).
- dogs being abused by their owners
- a young brown bear chained for the entertainment of tourists
- a bullfight video, where the matador tricks the bull, it trips over its head, horns stuck in the ground and topples over. Especially funny as we know that the maltreated bull will be slaughtered by the brave matador.
I know Norway prides itself in being a very liberal country, with high standards of animal welfare. Your Animal Welfare Act is proof of this. It mentions a "Duty to Help" and a "Duty to Alert", both of which I am trying to do with this letter. Your law also states that Animals shall be treated well and be protected from danger of unnecessary stress and strains, and buildings, fences and other minor installations shall be designed or built and maintained in such a way that animals are not subjected to danger of unnecessary stress and strains.
Unfortunately, these standards are not met in the Mad Animals Home Videos entertainment broadcast by you during your flights.
As an international airline you are proud to take people all over the world in an ever expanding service. You will be flying people to countries where animal welfare rights are not as good as in your own country, resulting in the appalling videos discussed here. I want to ask you, Norwegian Airlines and your CEO Bjørn Kjos, to do your bit, and take this opportunity to take down this video, and instead do your bit in raising awareness to the issues of animal welfare abroad. While I can only call you on this video, you have the power and the platform to actually make some positive change!
Jacob de Graaf
* Mad Animal Home Videos is made by Novovision, a Paris based company, and claims to be "the world’s largest provider of funny clips". The offending video screened was Episode 5 of Season one of Mad Animal Home Videos, and if you do an online search, you should be able to watch it online.