The SPCA has condemned reports that students in Dunedin bit the legs off ducks and posed with live eels as part of flat initiation rituals.
The University of Otago is investigating claims that in separate incidents, students mistreated ducks and a live eel as part of the “hazing” rituals.
University of Otago Students’ Association president Quintin Jane told RNZ the events are sometimes inflicted on students wanting to secure spots in flats for the following academic year and are designed to embarrass the students in front of onlookers.
However, the SPCA said it was “both horrified and disgusted” by the reports.
SPCA general manager - animal services Dr Corey Regnerus-Kell said it was not the first time his organisation had heard of such events.
“We can confirm we received a report similar to this nature in September, which lacked specific names or addresses necessary to conduct an investigation.”
The SPCA had contacted the university to determine next steps, he said.
“If these alleged events are true, the pain, fear and suffering the animals endured is absolutely unacceptable.
“We strongly urge anyone to come forward with further information on these serious events or to contact their nearest SPCA immediately.
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