Retire Animals Used in Olympic Opening Cermony to Sanctuaries

Target: Director Danny Boyle

Goal: Retire animals used in Olympic Opening Ceremony to sanctuaries, rather than continue to use them as performance animals

Film director Danny Boyle assured animal rights groups that the animals used in the opening ceremony of the Olympics would be retired to sanctuaries after their performance. Unfortunately, Boyle’s “vigorous” search for sanctuaries has the animals back in their original home awaiting their next performance. Please sign this petition and urge Danny Boyle to stick to his word and retire the show animals, preventing a future of stress, trauma, and uncertainty.

The cast of animals in Boyle’s display included 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep and three sheepdogs. Of the 119 animals used, all of them will be returned to the entertainment agency for use in future movies and theater. Animals suffer a great deal of stress and agitation due to lighting, noises, necessary prodding to make them hit their mark and other anti-animal environmental influences while performing. According to The Conversation’s Siobhan O’Sullivan, “Just days before the big event, director Bill Morris admitted that he had not put adequate thought into how to safeguard the animals against noise and stress, until the problem was pointed out to him by animal activists.”

When Boyle first announced plans to include the unwilling participants, PETA U.K. immediately asked him to reconsider and use animatronics instead. The group informed Boyle of the stress put on show animals and even offered to help source the state-of-the-art animatronics. Despite going through with the real thing, Boyle did pledge that he would “vigorously” look into retiring the animals to spare them the horrors of slaughter often faced at the end of a show animal’s career.

Please ask Danny Boyle to make good on his promise and prevent these traumatized animals from being forced back into entertainment, and find them sanctuaries for a safe retirement.


Dear Mr. Boyle,

Despite your claim to “vigorously” look into retiring the animals you used in the Olympic opening ceremony, they have all been returned to the entertainment agency which will continue to use them as unwilling props in film and theater. “Show” animals are usually traumatized by the unnatural environment of performance, only to face slaughter at the end of their careers. Please do the right thing and find sanctuary for the 119 animals used in your show.

When PETA U.K. learned of your plans to include live animals, it immediately wrote you a letter asking you to reconsider. Reportedly, the letter both educated you of the trauma and stress felt by animals in the lime light and even offered to help source state-of-the-art animatronics as an alternative plan. While you did go ahead with the real thing, you also pledged to “vigorously” search for retirement sanctuaries for the animals after their performance. Despite your pledge, you did not appear to actually look for sanctuary and the animals returned to entertainment with an uncertain future.

The show’s director, Bill Morris, admitted that he had not put adequate thought into how to safeguard the animals against noise and stress, until the problem was pointed out to him by animal activists. You, however, were aware of the animal’s fear as evidenced by the informative letter sent by PETA U.K. As the animals await their next performance or slaughter marking the end of their career, I implore you to find refuge for these animals that have helped your creative dream come to life.


[Your Name Here]

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