Australia emu video investigated for ‘horrific cruelty’

A video still shows emus running away from the car
Image caption The video appears to show a man using his car to strike emus

Animal welfare authorities in Australia are investigating a video which appears to show a motorist deliberately running over several emus.

The footage has drawn widespread anger after being shared online. Authorities are treating the footage as authentic.

In the video, the male driver is heard cheering as he strikes the birds on a dirt road with his car.

Authorities have appealed for information, describing it as apparent evidence of “horrific cruelty”.

“[We] unequivocally condemn this type of behaviour, as it clearly shows a disregard for the lives of vulnerable native animals,” the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said in a statement.

The unidentified motorist’s face can be seen in the 41-second video. His voice is also heard.

“This is great – I’ve got that one too, and that one,” he says.

A video still of the driver smiling during the incident
Image caption Authorities are trying to identify the driver in the video

The RSPCA has not yet determined where or when the incident took place. On Friday, they said they were examining a lead in South Australia.

Under South Australian law, people convicted of animal cruelty can face up to four years in jail and a fine of A$50,000 (£27,000; $36,000).

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