Animal rights group slams Norwich Pride for using 'unicorn' and goats at events
PUBLISHED: 11:28 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:41 29 May 2019
They were intended to spread joy and bring a touch of magic to an LGBT+ event celebrating diversity.
But the appearance of a 'unicorn' and a couple of 'rainbow goats' at the Stody Rainbow Garden Party has raised the hackles of an animal rights group.
The Norfolk-based Hunt Watch UK has launched a petition following the event at Stody Lodge Gardens in north Norfolk on Saturday, calling on co-organisers Norwich Pride to stop using animals as a "form of entertainment" there and at their annual parade through Norwich city centre.
The 'unicorn' was a white horse decorated with a horn and wings, while the six rainbow goats had part of their fur dyed the colours of the rainbow flag.
A spokesperson from Hunt Watch UK said: "We ask that Norwich Pride cease using animals as part of any spectacle or entertainment they organise. We believe that Pride has no place for animal cruelty.
"We strongly urge they commit to not using animals in their events or allowing them in their parades and this matter will be closed.
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"We have supported Norwich Pride as individuals over 10 years but the last two years has been extremely disappointing."
Michelle Savage, chair of Norwich Pride, said they were not planning to allow animals at this year's parade, which takes place on July 27.
She said: "We were really concerned to see the petition and want to reassure all Pride-goers that no animals are harmed at Norwich Pride events.
"Having consulted with the city council earlier in the year, we had already decided to not allow animals on the pride march in 2019 - except of course for dogs who are well-loved pets."
She said the Rainbow Garden Party was a "positive, affirming experience for hundreds of LGBT+ people and their friends and allies".
She added: "This event is a valued opportunity to reach LGBT+ people living in rural areas who are vulnerable to feeling excluded." Anyone with concerns can email Norwich Pride at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The petition on www.change.org has so far been signed by more than 500 people.