No, this video does not show a migrant cooking a cat on Lampedusa

By: Sam Doak
September 27 2023

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No, this video does not show a migrant cooking a cat on Lampedusa

Source: X


The Verdict False

This footage was recorded in Tuscany, not Lampedusa. While it has been presented as recent, it is from 2020.

Claim ID 1b7fcf65


Throughout September 2023, the Italian island of Lampedusa has experienced an influx of migrants arriving by boat. By September 17, the number of arrivals exceeded 7,000, which has sparked considerable discussion and debate internationally.

As genuine footage from Lampedusa showing large numbers of people being attended to by NGO workers was shared online, several unverified videos also circulated widely. Some of these have been spread by individuals opposed to migration in Europe in attempts to make political points concerning the arrival of migrants.

One such video, filmed in what appears to be a Mediterranean town, shows a man cooking an animal over a fire. While it is impossible to determine with certainty what the animal shown is, social media users have claimed that it shows a recently arrived migrant on Lampedusa preparing to eat a cat. 

Posting on September 18, one verified user on X (formerly Twitter), summarising the far-right narratives that have arisen concerning this video, stated, “Island resident on #Lampedusa was looking for her cat only to find a newly arrived African illegal migrant cooking it up for supper outside her home. What will happen when the EU disperse these people across Europe?”

Despite many social media users on X, TikTok, and YouTube appearing to believe this video shows a migrant on Lampedusa, Logically Facts has determined that it is unrelated to the recent arrivals on the island. 

In fact

A Google search for news coverage concerning this event revealed an article published by the International Business Times on July 2, 2020. The outlet describes the incident: “On Tuesday morning, commuters at Campiglia Marittima station in the province of Livorno, Italy, saw a man trying to cook a dead cat in the open. Horrified at the scene, some commuters started recording the incident. Complaints raised about the man's actions led to his arrest.”

Source: Google Street View and X

To verify that this incident occurred in Liverno, not Lampedusa, Logically Facts reviewed locations close to the Campiglia Marittima station using Google Street View. It was possible to geolocate this footage to an area close to the station through these means. 

The verdict

This video was filmed in Tuscany, not Lampedusa. According to media reports, the incident occurred in July 2020, years before the recent arrival of migrants on Lampedusa. This claim has therefore been marked as false.

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