Migrant workers charged for bird kills after showing off slingshot skills online

Two Vietnamese factory workers in Changhua County were charged with offenses against the Wildlife Protection Act today, after an investigation into online videos showing them killing birds using slingshots.

Police began the investigation after videos originating on the platform Tik Tok were found and posted to Facebook.

At least three videos had been uploaded since September 2020, showing the men targeting birds perched on powerlines, utility poles, and trees around Puyan Township. The videos show birds falling to the ground after being shot. Some of the birds are dead, and others struggling with injuries. The video footage was accompanied by Vietnamese pop music and voiceovers.

In one video, the shooter is wearing a uniform, which helped investigators identify a factory in the area.

screenshots showing slingshots used to shoot and kill birds

The two men, aged 26 and 27, and both named Nguyen, were contacted by investigators yesterday, January 22.

The men said that they had been motivated to make popular videos on the video platform, and shot the birds to show their skill and accuracy using a slingshot.

After finalizing their statements at the Xihu Police Station, the men faced the Changhua District Prosecutor to be charged with offenses against Article 17 Wildlife Protection Act. Penalties for such offenses range from a minimum NT$60,000 to a maximum NT$300,000.

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