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The publicly-funded BBC has hired an animal entertainment company responsible for providing wild animals to the circus industry to provide "animal actors" for its newest production, "Our Zoo".
Wild animals should not be exploited in the name of entertainment and the BBC should not be using public funds to support this cruel and outdated practice. Please sign our petition to call upon the BBC to commit to end the use of wild animals in its productions.
We, the undersigned, call upon the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to commit to end the use of performing wild animals in its productions. This call is made following the revelation that the BBC hired the services of company, Amazing Animals, to provide performing wild animals for a recent production.
The animals used included monkeys, a bear, penguins and a camel. All of these are wild animals with specialised welfare needs; needs which we believe cannot be met when used in the context of entertainment.
The BBC states that it “exists to serve the public, and its mission is to inform, educate and entertain”. We believe that, in supporting the continued use of wild animals in entertainment, the BBC is failing in that mission.
Whilst we recognise that the use of wild animals in entertainment is currently legal in the UK, it is undeniably a controversial issue with many members of the public feeling strongly that this outdated and archaic practice should be brought to a swift end.
The company hired by the BBC – Amazing Animals - was exposed in recent years for sending four UK-born lion cubs to an overseas circus. This move was met with widespread concern and condemnation.
The British public have long called for an end to the use of wild animals in circuses and, indeed, the current government have branded the use of animals in this way as “unethical”. A ban is due to be implemented before the end of next year. As such, the BBC providing monetary support to a company which actively and openly supplies animals for use in this industry appears to run clearly contrary to the public will.
Notwithstanding the particular company that the BBC has chosen to engage in this instance, it is agreed by leading animal welfare charities and experts that the use of wild animals in the wider entertainment industry is damaging to both animal welfare and public perceptions.
Given the controversial nature of the use of wild animals in entertainment, the growing ethical opposition to the practice, the clear and demonstrable welfare concerns for the animals used in this way and the evidence that such use has a negative impact on the general public’s understanding of those species’ conservation status, we call upon the BBC to ensure that no further public funds are used for this purpose.
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