Moviemaker Danny Boyle has come under fire for planning to include live animals in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, with campaigners branding his spectacle "exploitative".
On Tuesday (12Jun12), the Slumdog Millionaire director unveiled plans to include real grass, soil and farmyard creatures in the grand spectacular which will kick off the international sporting event in London next month (Jul12).
He's set to include 12 horses, 10 chickens, 70 sheep and nine geese when he transforms the arena into a "British meadow" - but his project has been criticised by bosses at animal rights organisation Viva!.
Campaigns director Justin Kerswell says, "This is wrong on so many levels. Why would anyone think it was a good idea to subject farmed animals to the pandemonium of an Olympic opening ceremony?
"It smacks of the Roman gladiatorial arena. Many of those animals, especially the sheep, are likely to be terrified. (It's) exploitative and potentially cruel."
A representative for Olympic Games organiser Locog tells Britain's Metro newspaper, "The welfare of the animals in the opening ceremony is of the utmost importance."