Animal rights groups have joined together in an effort to persuade 2012 London Olympic organizers to leave live animals out of the opening ceremony. For the planned opening ceremony, director and producer, Danny Boyle, presented a model of green pastures that would be the initial setting for opening ceremonies. The country setting will then change to an rban setting later in the show. It is anticipated that the green pastures bucolic setting would include over 100 animals "working" in the Olympic ceremony. The animals in the planned setting include 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep, and three sheep dogs.
Animal rights groups are worried about the distress the hectic environment would put on the animals. The groups have written a letter to the Olympic organizers reminding them that the 2006 Animal Welfare Act protects animals from intentional fear and distress. The six animal rights groups involved include Animal Aid, Animal Defenders International, Captive Animals Protection Society, Compassion in World Farming, Peta, and Viva. These groups are claiming that the opening ceremony would indeed intentionally put the animals in an environment of undue fear and distress stating it would be "highly stressful and probably terrifying." Their concern is that in the environment of cheering crowds, bright lights, and loud music would place the animals in a setting completely different from their typical surroundings, and because of the demands of the ceremony, they would be prevented from their natural instincts to run and hide from noise and perceived danger.
In response to the letter to Olympic organizers, the Olympic committee has promised that they will work with The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to ensure the safety of the animals. Boyle even made a promise that the animals will be "better looked after than the volunteers." The RSPCA has assured animal rights groups that they will be with the animals at all times, from rehearsals, to the opening ceremony and to the return of animals to their homes. They assured concerned citizens that the animals will be removed promptly after their
part of the show and well before any fireworks displays.
The RSPCA also notes on their website that although they do not condone the use of animals in the way planned for the Olympic opening ceremony as a scenery prop, they welcome the opportunity to work with the Olympics to promote kindness to animals. Despite the suggestion of animal activists to use an animatronics displays instead of live animals, it looks like the show will go on with the live animals.
Source: DailyMail.com, PetsLady.com and RSPCA.org
By: Kat Zand
In: Other News
Tags: news, Olympics, animal rights, animal cruelty, activism, animals
Location: London, England, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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