PETA is not a huge Katy Perry fan this week.
The world’s largest animal rights organization penned a displeased letter to the directors of her new music video, “Roar,” which features tigers, elephants and alligators.
“These animals often become stressed and anxious when they are hauled around and forced into unfamiliar or frightening situations,” PETA said. “Stage sets — with their bright lights, heavy equipment, and boisterous crowds — can be very traumatic for animals, even when every precaution is taken.”
“Serengeti Ranch, the animal exhibitor that we believe supplied the animals for the ‘Roar’ video, has been inspected by the USDA 22 times since 2001, with a total of 13 citations during that time,” the organization continued.
According to PETA, the most recent five inspections of Serengeti Ranch have all resulted in citations, including failure to provide the elephants with adequate shade, inadequate fencing, unprotected food items that pose a risk to the health of animals, the transferring of a tiger to another location without proper licensing or notification, and more.
PETA wants other directors to follow in the footsteps of Rupert Wyatt, who used CGI animals in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” who chose to do so “for both moral and creative reasons,” according to the letter.
Watch the music video and read the full letter below:
September 11, 2013
Dear Mr. Grady Hall and Mr. Mark Kudsi,
I am writing to you today on behalf of PETA regarding the use of wild animals in Katy Perry‘s music video “Roar.” As you may know, PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters.
What you may not know–as most people do not–is that animals used for entertainment in film and television endure horrific cruelty and suffer from extreme confinement and violent training methods. Primates and elephants are intelligent, curious, and highly social animals with complex physical and psychological needs. These animals often become stressed and anxious when they are hauled around and forced into unfamiliar or frightening situations. Stage sets–with their bright lights, heavy equipment, and boisterous crowds–can be very traumatic for animals, even when every precaution is taken.
Serengeti Ranch, the animal exhibitor that we believe supplied the animals for the “Roar” video, has been inspected by the USDA 22 times since 2001, with a total of 13 citations during that time. The most recent five inspections have all resulted in citations, including failure to provide the elephants with adequate shade or access to a barn in 90-degree heat, inadequate fencing to protect elephants from public visibility and entry of unauthorized personnel, backyard area buildup of dog excreta near an enclosure, unprotected food items that pose a risk to the health of animals, inadequate shade for dogs housed in a former tiger enclosure, and the transferring of a tiger to another location without proper licensing or notification.
Primates who are used in film and television productions have been taken away from their mothers at an early age and are forced to perform in ways that are unnatural and sometimes painful. They are often isolated from other primates, and physical abuse is common during pre-production training, where no monitors are present. Similarly, most of the few elephants available for film and television productions in the United States were captured in the wild and separated from their families when they were just babies. Elephants in the wild travel up to 30 miles per day but in captivity are forced to live in cramped conditions and are trained by means of painful techniques that include the use of sharp metal bullhooks and electric prods against their sensitive skin. Off set, living conditions for these animals are typically deplorable. Even the best-known exhibitors are frequently cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act, which establishes only minimal guidelines for animal care.
Should a future project call for the use of animals, we hope that you will follow the lead of Rupert Wyatt, director of the highly successful film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which featured wonderfully realistic computer-generated chimpanzees. Wyatt stated in interviews that he chose to use CGI apes for both moral and creative reasons. I invite you to watch PETA’s new public service announcement, narrated by Adrien Brody, which features the most realistic CGI chimpanzee yet created.
May we please meet briefly, at your convenience, to discuss this issue? We can do so in person or, if you prefer, over the phone. I can be contacted at 323-210-2265 or MerrileeB@peta.org. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much for your time.