Rita Ora has come under fire after a dog with cropped ears was featured in her new music video.
The singer – who landed in hot water after she was caught celebrating her 30th birthday at a restaurant during lockdown in November – was criticised after the dog was seen in the video to accompany her EP Bang Bang.
The video, apparently shot in Bulgaria, sees the star walking down a street where she comes across with a man with a dog with clipped ears. The procedure is not allowed in the UK although it isn’t illegal to import animals that have had it done.
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Ora has been criticised online over the scene, with one person tweeting: “Oh @RitaOra, this is disappointing. Please do the right thing and stand against mutilation of dogs.”
“Do you realise using dogs with cropped ears is promoting untold cruelty,” said another. “Their ears are literally trimmed with a blade. You think this is fun? Please use your platform carefully. Young adults will be influenced.”
There have been suggestions on social media that CGI was used to make the dog look as if its ears had been cropped, but many people said that was irrelevant.
“Doesn’t matter a jot whether it’s a cartoon, sketch, CGI or real dog. Shouldn’t be glamorising mutilated dogs full stop,” one person posted.
The Foal (Focus On Animal Law) group tweeted: “We are disappointed to see the use of cropped dog in @RitaOra's video, using mutilated dogs in media is playing a huge role in the normalisation of ear cropping.
"We urge everyone with SM platform to stop sharing images of cropped dogs unless for educating.”
Elisa Allen, director of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) told Yahoo in a statement: “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.”
Allen said that although the procedure is 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”.
“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,” she said.
Yahoo has contacted representatives for Ora for comment.
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