Melanie the raccoon's performance at Bluewater prompts social media and RSPCA backlash (From News Shopper)
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Melanie the raccoon's performance at Bluewater prompts social media and RSPCA backlash
A RACCOON riding a bicycle has caused controversy after a performance during a pet show at Bluewater.
Melanie the raccoon auditioned in front of Simon Cowell on this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, but failed to dazzle visitors at the Pet Expo and has instead prompted backlash on social media and from the RSPCA.
The three-day event was held at the Greenhithe shopping centre from October 25 until 27 was staged and managed by external events organiser Sherwood Media and Events UK.
Clare Monson was one of the critics of the raccoon performance. Writing on Bluewater’s Facebook page, she said: “In this day and age, I think it’s beyond belief that animal entertainment in this form is still even considered OK.
“Seriously bad move on your part.”
The RSPCA condemned the use of Melanie as a “circus-style stunt”.
David Cowdrey, RSPCA head of communications, said: “We have been left wondering how the deeply saddening spectacle of a raccoon in a bow tie riding a bike can possibly promote a message of good pet ownership.
“It is such a demeaning way to portray a wild animal and implies that animals are here just for our amusement.”
He added: “We urge anyone considering the idea of using animals in this horribly disrespectful way to think again.”
Not everyone disapproved of the raccoon act.
Dean Spain, who saw the show on Sunday (October 27), said: “I must say I found it interesting, informative, intellectual and yes, entertaining.”
He added: “As for Melanie the raccoon, this was an amazingly loved animal whose owner deeply cares for her.”
Bluwater have removed pictures from the Pet Expo from their Facebook page and said they have no plans to run the event again.
A Bluewater spokesman said: “A number of leading animal welfare charities were represented at the event including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust and Cats Protection.
“In addition a vet was on hand throughout the show to ensure the welfare of all the animals.
“We take the concerns raised by the public very seriously, and they will help to inform of Glow’s calendar of future events.
“In the meantime, we would like to to apologise for any concerns the show has raised, and confirm that there are no plan to run Pet Expo again.”
Watch Melanie's Britain's Got Talent Audition here:
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