Ashleigh and Pudsey star in circus animals campaign

Ashleigh and Pudsey's PETA campaign
Ashleigh and Pudsey's PETA campaign

Wellingborough’s Ashleigh Butler and Pudsey are the stars of a new PETA anti-circus advertising campaign.

Ashleigh, 17, appears as a sombre clown in the campaign image while Pudsey sits next to her dressed as a battered lion.

The caption reads: “The Saddest Show on Earth - Get Wild Animals Out of the Circus!”

Ashleigh and Pudsey unveiled the advert in Westminster.

Ashleigh said: “I was shocked to learn the full extent of how some animals are treated in the circus and the beatings they endure to perform tricks.

“Pudsey loves performing, but I find it disgusting that people resort to violence and some of the wild animals suffer for the sake of so-called ‘entertainment’.”

PETA - short for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation - says that unlike Pudsey, animals in circuses are deprived of “everything that is natural and important to them”.

A spokesman said: “As undercover investigations have documented, animals are routinely mistreated behind the scenes. They are shackled and isolated, experience terrible isolation and are forced to perform degrading and confusing stunts.

“Although Parliament instructed the government to introduce a ban on wild animals in circuses last summer, the government has continued to drag its heels and allow animals to continue to suffer in circuses.

“Ashleigh and Pudsey join all major animal welfare groups, veterinary bodies and the majority of the British public in calling for a ban on wild animals in circuses.”

This isn’t PETA’s first connection with Britain’s Got Talent - show boss Simon Cowell has supported several PETA campaigns, and his image appears on one of PETA US’ mobile spay-and-neuter clinics.

For more on Ashleigh and Pudsey’s campaign visit action.peta.org.uk