For Rapid Launch:
February 2, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Milltown, N.J. – Following information that the groundhog Milltown Mel died shortly earlier than this 12 months’s Groundhog Day occasion, PETA despatched a letter right now to John McNamara—“chief wrangler” and proprietor of the funeral house the place Mel was stored—providing condolences on the lack of Mel and urging McNamara not to interchange him with one other stay groundhog, as he reportedly plans to do.
As a substitute, PETA asks the organizers to think about an animatronic groundhog with synthetic intelligence that would really predict the climate, a groundhog costume (which a human might select to put on), or a persimmon tree whose seeds might be checked for the forecast. Any of those prognosticators would assist Milltown have a good time Groundhog Day with out dragging a shy, delicate animal out of hibernation, transporting him to an unfamiliar location, and subjecting him to distressing loud crowds, vivid lights, and human dealing with.
“Simply as whaling cities in New England have a good time now with out harming animals, we hope Milltown will modernize, acknowledge society’s belated respect for wildlife, and finish the follow of turning groundhogs into captive props,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA stands prepared to assist the city honor Mel’s reminiscence by establishing itself as a trendsetting and humane Groundhog Day vacation spot that exhibits respect for these exceptional animals.”
PETA—whose motto reads, partially, that “animals aren’t ours to make use of for leisure”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For extra info, please go to PETA.org or comply with the group on Twitter, Fb, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to McNamara follows.
February 2, 2022
Bronson & Guthlein Funeral House
Expensive Mr. McNamara:
I’m writing on behalf of Folks for the Moral Remedy of Animals—PETA entities have greater than 9 million members and supporters globally, together with many in New Jersey—to supply our condolences on the lack of Milltown Mel and in response to information that you just’re looking for a brand new groundhog to interchange him for 2023. We strongly urge you to honor his reminiscence and respect all wildlife by ending this custom. We ask that you just please hear us out and take into account looking for various leisure, utilizing a robotic groundhog or a costumed human (who had a alternative whether or not to take part) as your groundhog prognosticator. Right here’s why:
As a prey species, groundhogs are shy, delicate animals who keep away from people in any respect prices, if they will. Dragging them out of hibernation and transporting them to an unfamiliar location the place they could be in shut proximity to a crowd of individuals inarguably causes them important stress. As if that weren’t sufficient, groundhogs can transmit zoonotic pathogens to people, and they’re believed to be extremely inclined to the SARS-CoV-2 virus liable for the present pandemic. This example poses a security threat to groundhogs and their handlers and will enhance the chance of sickness from infectious illnesses. And with the blaring voice of an announcer and hooting and hollering from the viewers solely ft away from the groundhog, these occasions are horrifying and distressing to them, as these animals have extremely delicate listening to. With all due respect, whatever the intent of this exhibit, the message conveyed to the general public is irresponsible and condones the inhumane remedy of animals.
There are many wonderful methods for Milltown to make a reputation for itself. Please take into account an animatronic groundhog with synthetic intelligence that would really predict the climate, a contest for greatest groundhog costume, or perhaps a persimmon tree to plant; you could possibly maintain an occasion the place you verify the seeds yearly to find out the season’s climate.
Respectfully, we ask that you just please cease exploiting stay wildlife, for the sake of people and different animals alike. We stay up for listening to from you. Thanks to your consideration.
Very actually yours,