According to PETA, “The animals for Universal’s ‘Animal Actors’ have been supplied by Birds & Animals Unlimited (BAU) for decades. PETA’s 10-month investigation into BAU revealed that animals were denied adequate veterinary care for illnesses and injuries, forced to live in filthy enclosures, and denied food so that they would be hungry while being trained to do tricks. Following PETA’s exposé, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited BAU for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.”
Kathryn Henzler, Executive Director and Co-founder of The Protego Foundation, speaks on behalf of the team at Protego:
Much like we were ecstatic when the compassionate decisions were made for the ‘Cursed Child’ play and Wizarding World locations worldwide not to use live owls, we are thrilled that Universal Studios Hollywood has gone one step further and has ended its ‘Animal Actors’ show.”
Brittany Drake, Campaigns Director at The Protego Foundation, also commented on this momentous step forward for the animal community:
Hedwig would be proud of Universal for releasing her owl friends from being caged and forced to constantly perform. No animal deserves to be imprisoned and Universal releasing all animal ‘actors’ is one big step forward in acknowledging that animals deserve to be happy, safe, and free."
The only details that have been released so far are that the closure of the show will make way for a “future attraction,” with Universal Studios Hollywood stating in a press release that they are “setting the stage for the next chapter in its development,” and that we’ll find out more in the coming months.
There are so many exciting possibilities in store for the future of Universal Studios, and we can’t thank them enough for making this compassionate decision for these beloved animals. We hope that Universal Orlando will follow suit and retire its Animal Actors show as well. While the show in Orlando doesn’t use owls, they use a variety of other animal species, including parrots, pigs, dogs, and cats.
Don’t forget that you can play a part in helping to free owls from live events. Spread the word about this wonderful news and head to our Owl Resource Page where you can find out the current and historical catalog of owl-use in the Muggle world. There is also a “Report Owls” feature that allows you to help us get live owls out of any events that you come across.
Written by Grace Hurley
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