December 6 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tonbridge group write to LOCOG chief demanding changes
Ambitious plans to transform the Olympic Stadium into rolling fields to represent the British countryside - complete with livestock - have been slammed by a Kent-based animal rights group.
Danny Boyle, the filmmaker given the task of organising a spectacular Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games, unveiled his plans yesterday.
They include turning the centre of the stadium into an idyllic pastoral scene complete with sheep, cows, horses, chickens and ducks.
But Animal Aid, which has offices in Tonbridge, has hit out at the proposals.
What’s more, it has written to Bill Morris, director of ceremonies at LOCOG - the London Organsing Committee of the Olympic Games - urging his to reconsider the planned use of live animals.
Aminal Aid fears a packed 80,000 crowd, music and fireworks will terrify the animals involved.
In the letter to Bill Morris, Animal Aid wrote: “Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, you have a duty of care to animals. It is an offence ‘to cause physical or mental suffering, whether this is by a positive act or an omission, to a protected animal where this is unnecessary and the person knew or could be expected to know that an animal would suffer as a result’.
“There is no doubt that any animals brought inside the Olympic Stadium before an 80,000-strong crowd would be at risk of suffering real harm. And there is no doubt that there would be grounds for a prosecution should any of the animals experience physical or mental suffering.
“At the Opening Ceremony of the Seoul Olympics in 1988, a number of doves landed in the Olympic torch and were burned to death in front of the watching world. Are you willing to allow Britain to be seen in an equally negative light? If not, I urge you to remove the live animals from your plans.”
LOCOG says it is aware of the concerns, but added: “The welfare of the animals in the Opening Ceremony is of the utmost importance.”