Thursday 20 August 2009


UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass has today called on the EU Commission to cease using animals in its future advertising after producing an anti smoking ad which features a tethered macaque monkey.

The West Midlands MEP, who has been involved in animal protection for many years including being the first to sign the anti bullfighting ‘Bull’ in the European Parliament, has slapped down a challenge to the Commission to stop using animals in its adverts.

Mr Nattrass, who is also against the use of primates in animal experiments, has spoken out against a commercial for the European Commission’s new anti-smoking campaign HELP which features a macaque monkey on a lead. The monkey is seen sitting on a women’s shoulder tearing up a packet of cigarettes.

But, Mr Nattrass believes the commercial, which has already been pulled from the English and Irish language websites of the HELP campaign, is a disgrace.

“I think the advert is absolutely appalling and I am now calling on the European Commission to do the right thing and ban the use of animals in its future commercials,” Mr Nattrass said.

“I cannot understand why the Commission decided to use an animal in an anti-smoking campaign. It is clearly yet another blunder by the European Commission and it demonstrates yet again why Britain should leave the EU.”

The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) has also expressed concerns over the advert. Craig Redmond, Campaigns Director for CAPS, said: “Use of primates in this way damages not only the welfare of the individual animals but also has a negative impact on conservation messages designed to protect animals.

“Many leading primate experts, including Dr Jane Goddall and Ian Redmond (Chief Consultant to the UN Great Ape Survival Project) have spoken out against the use of primates in commercials.

“The International Primatological Society also opposes the use of non-human primates as ‘performers’.”