Harry Potter tour to review claims of distressed owls in tiny cages

A review of animal welfare at the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour is to take place following concerns over their treatment.

An owl in a cage

An owl in a cage Image by James Hartshorn / CC BY 2.0

PETA, the animals rights group, has said that owls, already distressed from being in tiny cages, performed tricks before crowds using flashing lights which is alien to where they want to be.

ITV news reports that on the tour in Hertfordshire where Potter fans can meet Hermione’s cat, Harry’s owl and a host of other animals from the film, an investigator attended  because the group had received complaints about the way the animals were treated.

Since then, PETA has written to the studio tour asking them to ban the use of live animals in such shows.

The organisation wrote to the attraction calling on the company to commit to a ban on using live animals on tours. A spokesman for Birds and Animals, the company that owns the animals, said the priority was the health and well-being of the owl, cat and other animals.

The studio tour watched the footage presented to them and are investigating the issue brought up in the film, stressing that they will take whatever action is appropriate so that the birds and animals got the best of care.

The Warner Bros studio tour London said that the owls from the Harry Potter series occasionally join the studio tour, adding they only appear for short periods and are handled exclusively by experts at the company which owns them - Birds and Animals. They also have said they would review the present situation.

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