PETA Upset at One Direction for Using Chimp & Other Wild Animals in "Steal My Girl" Video

PETA Upset at One Direction for Using Chimp & Other Wild Animals in "Steal My Girl" Video

SYCO/Columbia RecordsOne Direction‘s new video for “Steal My Girl” premieres Friday, but it’s already causing controversy among animal rights activists.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — PETA — is upset because the group is featuring a chimpanzee and other wild animals in the clip.

PETA has sent letters to One Direction and their video production company, requesting that they cut any of the scenes with the chimp, and asking them to pledge to never again work with “captive exotic animals”; the group suggests that 1D could use computer-generated animals instead.

In the letters, PETA says that chimps in the entertainment industry are separated from their mothers shortly after birth, treated badly and often abused, and then dumped when they become too strong to be safely handled.  The letters further note the presence of a lion in the video, and say that lions, too, are torn away from their mothers shortly after birth, and abused with electric shocks and food deprivation.

PETA claims  that Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife, the animal exhibitor hired for the “Steal My Girl” video, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for failure to meet animal safety and cleanliness standards.  PETA also accuses Martin of disposing of his animals in what it calls “poorly run roadside zoos.”   

PETA U.K. further claims that Martin “misled” 1D about these violations, and about his alleged relationship with the an organization,”American Humane Society,” which doesn’t actually exist.

The letters conclude, “We hope you’ll consider removing the wild animal scenes from the final video and make the conscientious decision never to work with wild animals again. Thank you for giving this urgent matter your consideration.”

But Fulwell 73, the production company that made the video, said in a statement to ABC News that it vetted Martin carefully and “chose him based on his exemplary treatment of animals, his highly regarded ‘reward based’ training, and his history in contributing to animal conservation educational programs.”

The company adds that Martin, “maintains a spotless on-set accident-free record which spans over 44 years of exemplary and highly respected work in the motion picture, television, commercial and video production industry.”

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