On the heels of this week’s PETA ads blasting CBS for using live animals again this season in its series Zoo, the animal rights org has enlisted PETA pal and longtime CBS game-show host Bob Barker to write a letter to CBS Television Studios calling for a network-wide ban on the use of wild animals in future programming.
This week, with Zoo back for Season 2 and, according to PETA, doing same, the group took out ads in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal featuring a computer-generated chimpanzee handcuffed with strips of film. (Last year at this time, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals chastised CBS’ summer series Zoo on the eve of its debut, after reading news reports in which the producers bragged about using actual wild animals whenever possible – in marked contrast to assurances PETA says CBS gave them about doing just the opposite.)
The new PETA campaign comes just days in advance of Zoo’s two-hour second-season premiere on June 28. In his letter, Barker says he is contacting CBS Studios “after hearing from my friends at PETA that your network continues to allow wild animals to be used on Zoo.”
The former longtime host of The Price Is right added in a letter addressed to CBS Television Studios chief David Stapf: “When used for entertainment, big cats and other animals are torn away from their mothers, subjected to abusive training methods and locked inside tiny cages. I urge you to end this exploitation and adopt a network-wide policy banning the use of wild animals in future CBS programming. “The only way to stop this cruelty is to replace the use of captive wild animals in your shows with the creative, versatile, and humane technology that exists today, such as computer-generated imagery. As demonstrated by productions such as Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and the upcoming David Yates film, The Legend of Tarzan, in which large numbers of animals have been created with such technology, it’s time for CBS to step up for animals and follow suit.”
CBS repsonded today in a statement: “We have the greatest respect for PETA and its cause. The health, safety and welfare of animals in our care during filming continues to be our highest priority.”