The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has launched a campaign urging publisher Take-Two to sever ties with the Ringling Bros. organisation and cancel its upcoming game based on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The controversy comes from PETA's complaints against Ringling Bros. for its alleged mistreatment of performance animals.
"We've told Take-Two about Ringling Bros.' real-life, lengthy history of animal abuse and neglect and shown it undercover video footage of a standard industry training session, in which animal handlers used electric prods and bullhooks to gouge elephants in the most sensitive parts of their bodies," said PETA in its official statement.
"Even though it knows that circuses are no fun for animals, Take-Two is still moving forward with its plan to create a Ringling Bros. Wii game," the statement continued.
PETA's campaign urges its members to send direct emails to Take-Two CEO Ben Feder asking that the publisher sever ties with the Ringling Bros. organisation.
"Let him know that you'd rather play a game featuring a circus that does not beat animals for 'entertainment,'" it said.
This is not the first time that PETA has protested a videogame: in November of 2008 it created a parody Cooking Mama title, which criticised the franchise for using meat ingredients in its in-game meals.