March 23, 2010
Posted: 11:41 AM ET
Looks like PETA has stepped into the ring with boxer Mike Tyson: On March 18, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to prosecutors in New York City requesting that they investigate Tyson's new pigeon-racing Animal Planet reality show, which will film in Brooklyn.
The animal rights organization hopes prosecutors will look out for illegal activity "in connection with pigeon racing...it is likely that extensive wagering will take place on the outcome of these races, as it customary in the industry."
But there is a bigger motivation behind PETA's protesting - the organization also claims the reality show, tentatively called "Taking on Tyson," might be cruel to its animal subjects.
"One wonders whether Mike Tyson - as a self-appointed ambassador of and 'rookie' to pigeon racing - realizes that just as losing racehorses end up in the glue factory, these gentle, loyal birds who race their hearts out in order to get home to their life mates often become lost in storms or have their necks wrung for failing to beat their competitors' time," PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, said in a statement. "Animal Planet needs more programs like "Whale Wars" and "Animal Cops" in which people go to bat for animals and fewer programs that showcase cruelty and profiteering at animals' expense." (Calls to Tyson's rep have not yet been returned.)
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