Statement on the use of animals in the Olympics opening ceremony
London 2012 has taken a decision to use animals in its opening ceremony. Subsequent to this decision, the RSPCA was approached to give advice on the use of animals and whether their use complies with animal welfare legislation as well as advice on meeting the welfare needs of the animals involved.
While the RSPCA does not endorse the use of animals in any form of entertainment, when approached the RSPCA will offer advice to ensure the animals used are free from pain injury and suffering, whether physical or mental and that any impact on the welfare needs of the animals used is minimised to an acceptable level. This advice will always include seeking alternative methods to animal use.
It is the responsibility of the London 2012 Ceremonies Ltd (L2012C) to source the animals and to ensure that all relevant legislation is complied with and that there are sufficient risk assessments and contingency plans in place to ensure the welfare of the animals is protected in all the circumstances.
The impact on the welfare of the animals in the opening ceremony is constantly being assessed and the numbers of animals and their use is under constant review as the rehearsals are implemented and assessments made as to how the animals react to the environment and other stimuli to which they will be exposed between now and the 27th July.