Cricketer Wayne Parnell Strips Down To Stop Circus Cruelty

For Immediate Release:
5 July 2011

Sandra Smiley +44 (0)207 357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – Cricketer Wayne Parnell has set his sights on a new opponent: circuses that force wild animals to perform unnatural and painful tricks. In a new anti-circus ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Parnell, who has played for Kent and currently plays for the Pune Warriors and the South African national team, appears shirtless and bound by chains next to the words, “Try to Relate to Their Fate. Say NO to Animal Circuses”.

“I choose to participate in sport, but the animals used in circuses aren’t given any choice at all”, says Parnell. “Animals in circuses suffer a lifetime of abuse – all for a few cheap tricks.”

The ad follows a debate in the Commons last month during which MPs demanded that the government put a permanent end to the use of wild animals in circuses. The government has run out of reasons not to implement the ban, which every animal welfare group in this country and the vast majority of the British public demand.

Tigers and other wild animals used in circuses spend most of their time confined to cages or cramped trailers. As countless undercover investigations have documented, animals are routinely mistreated behind the scenes. Circus workers keep the animals in cages or pens, deprive them of everything that is natural and important to them and break their spirits through repetitive disciplinary measures. The animals are shackled and isolated and experience terrible boredom when they are not being made to perform degrading and confusing stunts. Pacing, bar-biting, circling and self-mutilation are common among performing animals; these types of neurotic behaviour are widely recognised as the results of captivity and an unnatural lifestyle.

The ad was shot in India by photographer Himanshu Seth during the recent Indian Premier League season; Ayesha Wadiwala was the make-up artist.