One Direction criticised by PETA for using chimp trainer with 'history of abuse' in new 'Steal My Girl' video

PETA claims chimp trainer has history of 'violating' animal welfare standards

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The Independent Culture

One Direction have been criticised by animal welfare charities after using a chimpanzee in their new video for “Steal My Girl”.

Animal rights group PETA have urged the boy band to cut the scenes with the animal after backstage photographs of the chimp on a metal lead appeared online.

PETA claim the company hired to train the chimp, Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife, has a history of “shocking violations” of animal welfare standards dating back to 1993.

In a statement, the charity said past violations included failure to provide adequate veterinary care, locking chimpanzees and orang-utans in small cages for up to 18 hours and a failure to provide “adequate ventilation, clean cages and proper feeding”.

“PETA is asking that the boys immediately cut the scene with the chimpanzee and the other wild animals, pledge never to work with animals again and donate a percentage of the proceeds from the song to an organisation that rescues chimpanzees and cares for them properly,” the statement said.

But trainer Steve Martin has said the animals used in the video were not “harmed or mistreated in any way”.

 

In a statement, he said: “We are also in excellent standing with The American Humane Society and have never been cited for mistreating our animals. We have had many production companies comment on how close the relationship and bond we share with our animals is and shows in our work.”

The production company that made the video, Fulwell 73, added that they chose Steve Martin based on his “exemplary treatment of animals”.

In a statement, it said: “Steve 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.”

“Nothing is more valuable to our productions than ensuring the safety for our all of our crew and cast, especially the safety of our cast members provided by Steve Martin.”

The music video for “Steal My Girl” is due to be unveiled later today, Friday 24 October.

Read more: One Direction earned £93 a minute in 2013

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