Wild Futures, a leading primate welfare charity which runs The Monkey Sanctuary based in Looe Cornwall, are left disappointed at yet another primate ‘actor’ being used in a high-profile music video.
The music video ‘Feels’ by Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean has received over 89 million views on You Tube and features a black-capped capuchin for less than a second before moving back to the artists. The charity has sent an open letter to all the artists involved, to ask them to consider pulling the video.
Wild Futures is against wild animals, in particular primates, being used in the entertainment industry as it is inextricably linked to the primate pet trade, which the charity campaigns heavily against. The charity operates a sanctuary in Cornwall for monkeys rescued from the pet and entertainment industries, and has first-hand experience of the suffering caused by the trade in primates as pets.
Although it may appear to the untrained eye that this monkey is not suffering in any way while on set, it is widely agreed by experts and leading animal welfare charities that the use of wild animals in the entertainment industry is detrimental to both animal welfare and public attitudes to animals. Wild Futures state that their concerns go far beyond the treatment of the animals on-set. The use of wild animals as actors is, in most cases, highly detrimental to welfare of the individual animals involved. It can manifest in different ways throughout their lifetimes. Studies show that the use of wild animals as actors may have a negative impact on the survival of animal populations in the wild. It increases demand for that species as pets and diminishes concern for their conservation in the wild.
Sarah Hanson, Campaigns Officer at Wild Futures states: “Whenever a primate appears in the mass media either through being used in the entertainment industry or as a celebrity’s pet, we cannot let it pass without expressing our outrage and huge disappointment. Many celebrities unknowingly make the mistake of endorsing the use of primates as actors as there is little information available telling them of the true plight of primates in the trade. All of the artists in the Feels video are extremely influential, and they should think carefully about using primates in this way. They could use their status in a much more positive way and support the work we do. We sincerely hope that they listen to our plea and do the best thing they possibly can which is to take the video down as soon as possible and stop the use of primate ‘actors’”