A theme park has forced a 220lb pig to bungee jump from a 223-foot-tall tower in a promotional stunt that sparked nationwide outrage and was labelled ‘disgusting’ by animal welfare activists.
Footage taken on Saturday at a tourist attraction in Chongqing shows the animal whining in desperation as it was bound to a wooden stick and carried by two workers up the structure.
A separate clip then captures workers dragging the pig which was clearly terrified to the edge of the bungee platform, attaching it to a safety harness before pushing it down.
Workers at Meixin Red Wine Town in China carry the pig to the bungee tower on Saturday
Workers then attach a blue cape to the pig and drag it towards the platform for the jump
The pig can be heard screaming repeatedly as it plunged off the tower while being attached to a rope and a blue cape.
The park has apologised to the public amid the controversy. A spokesperson told local media that the pig had been sent to a slaughterhouse, insisting that it was well.
The controversial incident, branded as ‘golden pig bungee jumping’, was held by Meixin Red Village in the district of Fuling to celebrate the opening of its bungee tower on the same day.
The amusement park also claimed that it wanted to use the performance to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year.
But the business faced waves of criticism from the public and animal welfare gropus after videos of the event became trending on Chinese social media platforms.
The pig weighed around 75 kilograms (165 pounds) and was carried up the bungee tower by six workers, according to state-run newspaper Global Times.
It was taken into a lift to be transported to the top of the tower, accompanied by workers, the report said.
The bungee tower measures 68 metres (223 feet) in height and is erected over a pond.
The pig dangles in midair while being attached to a rope after it was pushed down the tower
Workers prepare to put a safety harness on the pig before pushing it down the platform
Workers at the park denied accusations of animal cruelty, claiming that the bungee jump was just ‘an experiment’, they told Beijing News.
Many users of Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, accused the park of animal abuse.
One typical comment said: ‘I cannot understand how such act which involves animal abuse can be funny.’
Another user wrote: ‘The pig’s screams are heart-rending.’
Animal charity PETA called the stunt ‘disgusting’ and ‘cruelty to animals to its worst’.
In a statement to MailOnline, PETA Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker said: ‘A bungee jump is a scary experience even for consenting humans-just imagine the outright terror of being forcibly strung up by your legs and thrown from a high platform.
‘That’s the treatment that this pig received, all for a cheap laugh. Well, guess what? No one’s laughing.
‘Pigs experience pain and fear, just as we do, and this kind of disgusting PR stunt should be illegal.’
The incident in Chongqing has sparked an outcry among web users and animal activists
The park has apologised, but insisted the pig was well and had been sent to a slaughterhouse
The park yesterday apologised to the public for their treatment of the pig.
In a statement on its official account on Weibo, the park said: ‘We sincerely accept the criticism and advice given by many web users and hereby extend our sincere apology to web users and all communities of the society.’
The park vowed to strengthen its management in its publicity.
There is currently no law to protect animal welfare or prevent cruelty towards animals in China.
Mr Baker said the incident should be a ‘wake-up call’ to the Chinese policymakers who are yet to pass relevant law.
He said: ‘The theme park deserves every shred of the backlash it’s receiving online, and the Chinese public’s angry response should be a wake-up call to China’s policymakers that they must implement animal protection laws immediately.’
Another animal charity, Humane Society International, agreed.
The group’s spokesperson, Wendy Higgins, told MailOnline: ‘Causing animals fear or suffering for a commercially motivated publicity stunt is truly vulgar.
‘Unfortunately this kind of exploitation is not uncommon in China, symptomatic of a system that provides no legal protection for animals and no legal incentive to respect them as sentient beings and consider their welfare or feelings.
‘The outrage online to this incident is indicative of how out of step this cruelty is with the growing concern for animal protection among Chinese citizens, and it really is time that policy makers in China caught up with that sentiment.’
No law prevents people from abusing animals in China
Chinese activists have been urging for a law to protect the welfare of animals for years
While China has laws to safeguard land-based and aquatic wildlife, it currently lacks legislation to protect animal welfare or to prevent cruelty towards animals.
In September 2009, animal rights activists and legal experts began circulating a draft Law on the Protection of Animals and in 2010, a draft Law on the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the State Council’s consideration, according to Human Rights in China, a Chinese non-governmental organisation based in New York.
The draft proposes a fine of up to 6,000 yuan (£693) and two weeks’ detention for those found guilty of animal cruelty, according to China Daily. However till this day, no progress has been made.
While the country’s first ever legislation protecting animal welfare has yet to be adopted, the increasing cases of animal abandonment and serious cruelty towards animals such as killing of dogs and burning of cats have led to serious resentment within society.