Saudi YouTuber Abdul Aziz Rabih Al-Dulaijan, known as Dyler, received massive backlash after a video of himself putting a kitten inside a microwave to see "if it would get bigger" went viral on social media.
The 18-year-old uploaded the video on YouTube, where he has over 6.6 million subscribers, prompting outrage for encouraging animal abuse among his young audience.
I want @YouTube to check all the content creators specially young kids, #dyler did post a vlog about "having a kitten in a microwave for 30 seconds" and lets see what happenes to that kitten?!!! @YouTube this guys has millions of kids followers who blindly follow him.— Osi 🌻 (@OsiEidian) January 9, 2020
Many took to social media using the hashtag #دايلر_يعذب_قطه (#Dyler_tortures_cat) to voice their fury, while others reported the video, which has since been taken down by YouTube.
I myself a cat lover but This Dyler is a animal abuser he put his own cat on the kitchen microwave— okay Groomer (@okay_groomer) January 9, 2020
I still hate him so much I understand his Arabic spoken
Please guys report him on YouTube
In Arabic it’s says Dyler abuse his own cat #دايلر_يعذب_قطه https://t.co/NRuOw94TbD
In response to the backlash, Dyler told his 6 million Instagram followers that he had been “wrongly accused” of animal torture and had been engaging in “dark humor” when he made the video.
“The video is almost nine months old, and at that time I was making content every day and didn’t think much of this skit,” he said. “I do admit the idea is wrong, it was dark humor. However, I would never be abusive with my animals. It was a mistake I made.”
Although the self-proclaimed rapper explained that it was simply an act and that he had never microwaved his kitten, activists argued that due to his “joke”, several videos had appeared on social media of kittens actually being microwaved for 30 seconds “just as Dyler did.”
“It is a horrific crime, he is not a kid. An 18-year-old would know what will happen when you microwave a kitten,” Farah Gonzalez, owner and lone operator of Kitty Tender Love and Care Shelter and Cat Hotel in Jeddah said in a statement.
“He is giving a bad example to his followers and could go to jail for this. He should be offering a good example, not giving naive kids these ideas,” she added.
“He has 6 million subscribers on YouTube. People who are saying it’s no big deal should think again… it is a big deal,” said Um Asma, who rescues homeless cats at her Gus’s Hope shelter. “This YouTuber and anyone who follows his example needs to be fined and punished.”
She urged parents to educate their children about love and mercy toward animals, saying: “I don’t think this is a funny joke. People need to talk more about this so that if anyone even thinks of doing it, they know they will be exposed.”
According to an animal rights activist, Mahmoud, animal welfare is protected in Saudi Arabia under the GCC Animal Welfare Act.
“The act strictly punishes those who violate animal rights, starting with a SR50,000 ($13,327) fine for the first violation and fines of up to SR400,000 if the violation is repeated more than once,” he said, insisting that that the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture can issue punishments for animal rights violators.
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