RITA Ora has been heavily criticised for glamourising the cruel practice of cropping dogs’ ears in her glitzy new music video.
The star has just released a mini-film shot in Bulgaria to accompany her new EP Bang Bang.
And the work shows a pit bull-type animal with closely cropped ears straining at the lead as the singer strolls past.
A coalition of leading veterinary bodies and animal welfare charities across the UK has put their weight behind a new petition calling on the Government to close all the legal loopholes that allow the cruel practice of ear cropping to continue.
The Focus on Animal Law group (FOAL) co-director Jordan Shelley launched the petition and last night he told us: “I’m disappointed to see the use of a cropped dog in Rita Ora’s video, as the use of mutilated dogs in the media is playing a huge role in the normalisation of ear cropping and the rise in cropped dog ownership.
“Alongside our call to government to ban the importation of cropped dogs we urge everyone with a platform and media reach to no longer share any images of cropped dogs unless specifically for the purposes of education and rehoming, so that together we can stop the glamourisation and normalisation of this unnecessary painful cosmetic procedure.”
After being shown Rita's new video, animal charity PETA's Director Elisa Allen said: "PETA joins the RSPCA and every other animal protection advocate in calling for a ban on the importation of dogs with cropped ears, which would send a strong message to breeders, celebrities, and everyone else that maiming dogs for vanity is unacceptable.
"Dogs love humans regardless of the way we look – we'd do well to extend the same kindness to them.
"Dogs' ears are there for a purpose, and they need to use them like directional antennae. Ear cropping is a painful mutilation that is most commonly used by dogfighters to prevent an opponent from grabbing the ears – it has no place in a civilised, humane society.
"It involves cutting off the majority of the dog's enervated, extremely sensitive ear and taping the remnants into an unnatural, "devilish" shape for aesthetic reasons. Dogs "talk" to their human companions and other dogs using their ears, so hacking them off not only is traumatic but also robs them of vital forms of expression, communication, and balance.
"Although the cruel practice is rightly banned in the UK, reports indicate an alarming increase in the number of dogs with cropped ears – people either send the animals abroad to be maimed or purchase and import dogs from breeders who have already mutilated their ears."
The Sun has contacted Rita's representative for comment.
It is illegal to cut a dog’s ears in the UK but it is not against the law to import animals who have already been mutilated.
The document now has more than 71,000 signatures and is closing in on the 100,000 needed for the issue to be debated in parliament.
Jordan added: “The number of celebrities that were getting cropped dogs and companies using them in advertising was a real driver for us.
“It is time as a great animal loving nation that we say no to this trade and the increase in the “fashion” of cropped dog ownership, which is why we are asking government to look at how we can stop this worrying trend.”
Premier League Footballers Jesse Lingard and James Maddison both have imported dogs with cropped ears, as does Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Love Islander Scott Thomas.
Recent RSPCA statistics show that reports of ear cropping made to the charity doubled in the last year, with a 621% increase since 2015.
The Veterinary Animal Welfare Coalition- whose members include the British Veterinary Association (BVA), British Small Animal Veterinary Association, British Veterinary Nursing Association, British Veterinary Zoological Society, RSPCA, Scottish SPCA, PDSA and Blue Cross- has joined up with The FOAL Group to keep the pressure on government to take action against ear cropping.
BVA President James Russell said: “In recent years, vets and animal welfare charities in the UK have seen a dramatic increase in the number of dogs with cropped ears, marking a frightening trend towards the normalisation of a mutilation that is horrific, unnecessary, and rightfully illegal in this country.
“However, despite being illegal, unscrupulous breeders are using loopholes to import dogs with cropped ears from countries outside the UK where the procedure is still legal, or sending dogs bred in the UK overseas for the procedure.
“Even more worryingly, it has come to light that some people are carrying out this painful procedure illegally in the UK, using crude instruments or do-it-yourself ear cropping kits bought online, likely without any anaesthesia or pain relief.
“We’re asking Government to close all legal loopholes and end the trend in ear-cropped dogs for good, and so I’d urge all members of the public to sign this petition.”
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