July 3 - London 2012 Opening Ceremony artistic director Danny Boyle has sent a personal, handwritten note to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) founder Ingrid E Newkirk in which he has promised to make concessions over the controversial use of live animals in his show at the Olympic Stadium on July 27.
It was last month that Boyle (pictured above), the 55-year-old Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire, revealed that his Olympic Opening Ceremony would feature 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep and three sheep dogs.
Following the unveiling of the Opening Ceremony plan, Newkirk, one of the most prominent animal welfare campaigners in the United Kingdom, wrote to Boyle about London 2012's attempts to "fob-off" their serious concerns regarding the Opening Ceremony.
But in a touching gesture, Boyle has responded to the PETA founder with a handwritten note in which he addresses her concerns.
"I've just caught up with all my correspondence concerning the use of animals in the Opening Ceremony and apologise if you feel you've been dealt with in an inconsiderate way," the letter (pictured below) reads.
Boyle says that with so many different opinions, it is "impossible" to address all the concerns personally but promises that "genuine care will be taken of the animals" including judging how they react to the stadium environment.
He explains that the animals "will feature only in the very beginning of the show during daylight hours and will leave the stadium shortly after the 9pm start and before any large effects or noisy sequences take place."
He also notes that he had not considered the point that Newkirk raised in her earlier correspondence about safely retiring the animals after the ceremony to sanctuaries but concludes that he will now "follow that up vigorously".
PETA admitted it was delighted to receive a response from Boyle and it hopes to continue working with him on the issue.
"PETA will be offering placement assistance into reputable sanctuaries for the retiring animals," a spokesperson told insidethegames.
"The organisation will also suggest that Boyle link up with fellow film director Chris Noonan, who made sure that all 48 piglets used in the making of the film Babe were spared the abattoir."
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