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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Heineken launches investigation as internet photo suggests beer giant may have sponsored brutal dog fighting in Asia

-The Dutch brewer's logo is shown on banners surrounding a ring containing fighting dogs
-The picture is believed to be from the Philippines

By Martin Robinson

Beer giant Heineken has launched an urgent investigation after an internet photo of a brutal dog fight showed the ring was surrounded by their branded banners.

Thousands have called for a boycott of their drinks because of the image from an unknown Asian country, believed to be the Philippines.

Yesterday Heineken said it was 'as shocked and disappointed' as anyone who had seen their name linked to the blood sport.

The picture shows people filming a dogfight in a ring with the Heineken logo hanging from pillars above the crowd.

Brutal: Two dogs in a ring are shown tearing at eachother, surrounded by a large crowd and Heineken banners

Animal rights groups circulated the image online, sparking an angry response from their supporters.

In an official statement on their own Facebook site Heineken said: 'We are aware of images of dog fighting circulating online including our branding. We do not support such cruelty and are urgently investigating.'

However many people called on the firm to speak out publicly against dogfighting, accusing them of backtracking after being 'caught out'.

One Facebook user said: 'I am so not having anything to do with your product or events you sponsor - anywhere - until you sort this out. Disgraceful!'

Battle: Angry drinkers have launched campaigns to boycott Heineken because of their alleged link to the cruel sport (file picture)

'Shame on you Heineken--you are what is wrong with this world! How could you sponsor such a heinous crime!' another said.

Heineken insisted yesterday it was trying to find out how its banners appeared there.

A spokesman said: 'We are as shocked and disappointed by this image as you are. Heineken is not and would never be associated with illegal activities, including those involving cruelty to animals.

'This is a gross misrepresentation of our brand and our legal team is now examining this matter.

'If you have any further information regarding this picture, such as the source, or the venue where it was taken, please let us know. Once more we'd like to thank you and the rest of the community for bringing this to our attention.'

Heineken has run into trouble in the past after it was revealed their Spanish Central Cervejas brand was advertised at bullrings in Spain.



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