Remove Irresponsible Magazine Cover of Attenborough Holding a Lion Cub

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Remove Irresponsible Magazine Cover of Attenborough Holding a Lion Cub

This petition had 728 supporters
Paul Tully started this petition to Radio Times


David Attenborough is well respected, we all love his wildlife and nature programmes. He's a legend to many of us and we admire his great efforts over the many years he has been a presenter, commentator and advocate for wildlife.

However. The new issue of Radio Times (dated 7-13 May), featuring David Attenborough on the front cover holding a LION CUB is completely unacceptable and highly irresponsible.

What's worse is that David can be seen FEEDING the cub with a bottle -

Why was this lion cub in this position? (see how the cub appears distressed)

Who misinformed David Attenborough that holding a lion cub was responsible?

Who within your company is naive enough to think that placing anyone on a front cover holding a lion cub, is responsible?

By allowing this, you are promoting the holding of such animals. A shocking example of exploitation for a commercial venture, but also a bewildering example of bad judgement and taste.

Lion cubs are being bred in their thousands every year, particularly in South Africa, where they are bred and sold into the canned hunting industry. As a result, thousands of tourists and volunteers travel to South Africa and other areas around the world, to pet & play with cubs, to care for them. The US also has a huge issue of cub petting big cats.

All of which is largely based on the tale "these lion cubs were abandoned by their mother"... well let's give some facts for the rather silly Radio Times magazine;

  • Cubs are ripped from their mothers often days after birth, the female forced to breed again and again
  • Almost immediately, the cubs are used as a tourist prop and attraction, a chance to pet them as the lure for travellers and volunteers
  • When old enough, they are sold either to a few zoos, but largely to canned hunting
  • This is a constant cycle wherever you see lion and big cat cubs

By displaying such an image, is both naive and irresponsible. You are negligently promoting an industry thousands of people are trying to stop. You are naively promoting a seriously unethical practice of cub petting. You are promoting hands-on interactions - this MUST STOP NOW.

You actions have also brought David Attenborough's reputation into question - why allow David to be in such a position of carrying out an unethical practice?

My other question would be to David.. why on earth did he believe this was acceptable? I don't care who you are, no-body should be holding lion cubs, David is not this cubs care giver and by placing this image on the front cover, now perpetuates the notion that HOLDING A CUB IS OK ... WHEN IT'S NOT OK! So why did everyone believe this was ok? Who organised this ridiculous situation.

Radio Times have tinged David Attenborough's repuation and their own, by shockingly using a lion cub taken from its mother.

I urge Radio Times to immediately give an explanation and withdraw this irresponsible and unethical magazine cover. Before the naive general public (who won't realise the consequences and issue of cub petting), fall under even more false impressions of handling lion and big cat cubs. 

Where was this image taken? What facility? Why did they even allow such a photo-opportunity? When thousands of lion and tiger cubs are exploited in such photo-opp's every year .... and it's us who are fighting to stop it. You have not helped and made things worse!!

I hope Radio Times explain their actions, as this undoes all the great work wildlife advocates and organisations are doing to educate on cub petting and big cat issues.

Immediate Media state in their 'Code of Conduct';

"1. Suppliers must not use any form of forced, bonded or involuntary labour"

Although this applies to workers, why have they FORCED a captive animal into a situation for a "photo-shoot"? Animals are no longer props for films, programs nor circuses.

Please sort this out Radio Times. We expect a professional and mature answer and reasoning, we do not wish to hear "this cub was orphaned" as this is an age old story used by all breeding facilities.

Many thanks for signing.


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