PETA Calls for Investigation of Animal Planet Show for Violating Wildlife Laws in Brownsville

Brownsville Tie Found to Animal Abuse on Call of the Wildman

For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Brownsville, Ky. – In order to film a staged scene for the Animal Planet “reality” series Call of the Wildman, a deer was “trapped” inside a Brownsville consignment shop and chased. The terrified deer crashes into the store’s metal shelves as he flees, slipping and falling on the floor. After the deer is wrestled to the ground and placed in a horse trailer, the animal thrashes and brays in distress. The show’s star, Ernie Brown Jr., was issued an official warning for violating the state law prohibiting the taking of deer. Now, PETA has submitted formal complaints to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) asking for immediate investigations into possible violations of state and federal laws.

“No animal should be harassed and potentially injured or killed for the sake of a TV show,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “By keeping this show on the air, the network might as well rebrand itself as ‘Cruelty-to-Animals Planet.'”

According to a Mother Jones investigation, a coyote was captured in Bowling Green approximately 84 hours prior to filming for the show and confined to a tiny cage in which the animal could barely move. The coyote was reportedly “weak and limping” and “sluggish and unresponsive” yet was transported to the filming location before being replaced by a coyote imported from Ohio. This coyote was clearly distressed throughout the scene, in which Brown dragged—and even repeatedly lifted—the animal by the tail. And although Brown received an official warning from the KDFWR for using potentially deadly methods to catch bats in violation of his permit, he later used the same methods to capture bats in Houston.

Call of the Wildman is already under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas officials, and the city of Houston. PETA and nearly 67,000 of its members and supporters have called for the show’s cancellation—but Animal Planet has steadfastly refused to nix it.

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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