Public Relations

Animal rights campaigners gun for Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke over hunting TV app

By John Glenday | Reporter

August 1, 2017 | 3 min read

Animal rights campaigners have reacted with fury after billionaire Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke broadened his online hunting channel, MOTV, to an international audience.

The controversial app is now being marketed in English-language territories around the world including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where audiences are treated to the sight of Americans on the hunt for big game in the African bush.

Stan Kroenke, Arsenal

Animal rights campaigners gun for Gunners owner Stan Kroenke over hunting TV app

Graphic footage on the site includes an African lion being shot in the head as well as maimed animals struggling to escape after being shot with bows and arrows, sparking disquiet among some fans of the club, including animal welfare groups who have called for an outright boycott of the London club.

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Simon Barr, representative of the Outdoor Sportsman Group (which produces the app) sought to play down the big game element of its production however; insisting that the majority of its content is far less controversial.

He said: “There will be fishing, shooting, hunting that's relevant to the UK, so deer-stalking in Scotland, for example. There'll be some pheasant-shooting on there. There'll be salmon fishing, fishing on the coasts.

“It's guaranteed any hunting that's on there will have be done in an ethical, fair-chase way and it will have been done legally.”

Chris Pitt, deputy director of policy campaigns and communications for the League Against Cruel Sports, dismissed this however, stating: “The reality of trophy hunting is that a lot, if not most, of these animals will not be killed cleanly, they will suffer long painful deaths - and so on the welfare argument alone, hunting like this should be banned.”

Arsenal owner Kroenke, who also happens to own the subscription-only web channel, has amassed a sprawling sports empire with Arsenal as one of his trophy assets. In the search for more positive publicity the club has partnered with Universal Pictures to promote upcoming films.

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