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Originally Posted: July 2, 2012
[Ed. Note: For more info, read Controversy over use of life animals in London Olympics.]
FROM VIVA UK
Unbelievably, live farmed animals – including sheep, ducks and chickens – are to be used as part of the Olympic opening ceremony in London at the end of July.
Viva! is one of the signatories of a joint letter from leading animal groups to the Olympic committee asking them not to use real farmed animals during the opening ceremony. The letter’s co-signatories are: Animal Aid, Animal Defenders International (ADI), Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Not only will it be exploitative and potentially cruel, it will also perpetuate the myth of small scale farming when the reality is that most farmed animals are now intensively reared in Britain.
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London 2012 Olympics
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INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
In an opening scene which the organisers say will represent “a traditional and idyllic view of the British countryside”, twelve horses, three cows, two goats, ten chickens, ten ducks, nine geese, seventy sheep and three sheep dogs will be used.
The huge crowds these animals will be confronted with, coupled with the high levels of noise and flashing lights, will be an extremely stressful experience for them, despite any assurances to the contrary.
ADI’s immediate welfare concerns also include that these animals will have to endure unnecessary transport to and from the show at a time when traffic in the area is expected to be congested and despite current weather it could be extremely hot. Given the scale of the event we would anticipate the animals will have to be on site well in advance of their performance and will be kept in very limited temporary facilities since the site has not been designed for animals.
It is worth noting that equestrian events are not even taking place at this venue.
We are calling on London 2012 to do the right thing and cancel the use of animals for the opening ceremony and instead proceed with a cruelty-free alternative which can be enjoyed by everyone.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!