The German arm of the animal rights group, PETA, has issued a press release accusing Battlefield 3 developer, DICE, of encouraging sadistic and violent behaviour towards animals through its rat-stabbing gameplay option.
The press release, which has been translated into English, condemns a sequence in the single-player campaign where the player is crawling through pipes and can kill rats by stabbing them. The organisation claims that the sequence encourages sadistic violence towards animals.
"The realistic computer game Battlefield 3 treats animals in a sadistic manner," it read.
"The game gives players the option to kill a rat with a combat knife in the back in order to then lift it by its tail, then toss it away... There have been repeated cases of animal cruelty in Germany, where young people kill animals. Inspiration behind these acts often came from movies and computer games."
This isn't the first time PETA has gotten involved with video games. Last year the organisation created Super Tofu Boy in response to the lack of vegetarian options in Super Meat Boy.
Have you played through the rat-stabbing sequence in Battlefield 3? What did you think of it? Is it unnecessary violence, or does it work in context? Let us know!