Reality TV Star Smacks Horse With a Hammer—PETA Wants an Investigation

Published by Zachary Toliver.

On a recent episode of the Discovery Channel’s reality show River of No Return, star Ron Ens shocked viewers when he struck a hobbled horse with a hammer.

PETA sent an urgent letter calling on the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office to investigate and, if appropriate, file cruelty-to-animals charges against Ens.

We’re stunned that the company would permit such flagrant animal abuse to appear on one of its shows. We urge Discovery Channel CEO David M. Zaslav to condemn Ens’ disturbing act of cruelty. Following PETA’s complaint, the Discovery Channel pulled the episode. It has an obligation to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again on its watch.

Using animals in TV shows and films leads to real abuse.

Animals don’t belong in TV or film productions. The confusing world of staged performance, bright lights, multiple takes, and confusing tricks means torment for any animal involved. Reality TV is clearly no safer than the traditional format. What we saw on River of No Return only normalizes the violence that animals endure in Hollywood for “good television.”

What You Can Do

Avoid movies and TV shows that use animals. These conscious, sensitive beings want freedom and autonomy just like you or me. But eyewitness footage demonstrates that Hollywood is often indifferent to their plight. It’s up to us as consumers to let the industry know that as long as animals are being exploited, we’re changing the channel.

If you witness animal abuse or neglect during the production of a film or television show or at an animal-training facility, please get in touch with PETA right away. Confidentiality is taken very seriously.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind