‘Harry Potter’ Under Fire for Animal Cruelty
Looks like not everyone thinks Harry Potter is magical.
Animal rights group PETA accused the wildly popular film franchise of animal cruelty — and no, that's not a reference to evil talking snakes.
The group has accused The Making of Harry Potter tour, currently operating at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, for mistreating its owls.
The tour allows visitors to tour the film's sets, taste Butterbeer and see the animals used in the films, including Harry Potter's trusty sidekick Hedwig, a snow owl.
According to BBC News, PETA secretly filmed the tour and found the owls locked in cages deemed to be too small and forced to perform tricks on command.
"Confining frightened owls to tiny cages where they can only chew at their tethers in frustration goes against every message of respect and kindness that J.K. Rowling's wonderful books taught us," PETA director Mimi Bekhechi told the BBC.
In response, Warner Bros Studios said, "They appear for short periods and are exclusively handled by the experts at Birds and Animals, the company that owns and trains them. We have asked them to review this matter."
"The welfare of our birds and animals is our number one priority and we want to ensure they remain stress-free and healthy," a spokeswoman for Birds and Animals said. "The owls are always given regular breaks and closely monitored by a vet. Now that we have had the opportunity to see the footage, we have instigated a review of the issues raised. We will take appropriate action to ensure that the birds and animals always receive the very best care."
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