Leopard Ladies Roar For Shilpa

For Immediate Release:
18 January 2007

Karen Chisholm 020 7357 9229; ext 229

PETA Beauties Bare All to Protest Big Brother Circus Cruelty

London—Today, wearing next to nothing but body-painted leopard spots and a sign that read, “Stop Big Brother Circus Cruelty – Vote for Shilpa,” numerous members of PETA Europe took the streets in Covent Garden, central London, urging television viewers to take a stand against the bullying of animal advocate and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother – a show many say is like a circus. Shilpa is a staunch supporter of PETA’s campaign against bullying and cruelty to animals who, unlike the Celebrity Big Brother contestants, are not volunteers and are forced to perform through fear of punishment.

Why does Shilpa speak up for bullied animals? Shilpa and PETA Europe want people to know that in order to force animals to perform stressful acts, trainers use whips, muzzles, electric prods and bullhooks with metal tips. In their native homelands, many animals used in circuses – including tigers, bears, camels, alligators and parrots – would be free to walk and run, choose lifetime companions and raise their families. Instead, the circus forces them to perform confusing acts night after night for 48 to 50 weeks every year. Between acts, animals are kept chained up like bicycles or stored in cages which are barely even large enough for them to turn around.

“When Shilpa Shetty joined PETA to speak up against cruelty to animals in circuses, she had no idea she would eventually be living in the midst of one”, said PETA Europe Leopard Lady Lucy Groom. “We urge viewers to stop Big Brother circus cruelty by voting for Shilpa, our friend and a defender of animals.”

Shilpa posed for one of PETA’s most high-profile ad campaigns in India, a sexy anti-circus ad in which she crouched behind the bars of a cage, dressed in a form-fitting tiger-striped body suit, with the tagline “Beaten, Lonely and Abused – Boycott the Circus”.

Photographs from today’s Leopard Ladies event and a hi-res copy of Shilpa’s ad are available by request from PETA Europe. For more information, visit peta.org.uk.