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The Chief Executive of Twycross Zoo says chimps should never have been used in PG Tips adverts.
Studies have since found that the apes, which came from the zoo in Leiecestershire, were damaged by the experience.
Sharon Redrobe, who was appointed CEO in October 2013, said:
"I am very happy we have re-opened the debate on the use of chimps in the media... We have learned a lot in the last twenty years… Chimps find it difficult to be chimps when they have been reared with people…
They have not learned normal chimp etiquette and so when we have to re-introduce them, these animals become very aggressive and can kill people… We have seen many instances in the USA where these chimps have turned on their owners and that is to be expected...
I absolutely would not use chimps in entertainment anymore. They live until their thirties and forties now and we need to give them the best life possible; and that means giving them the best start possible, which is being with other chimps."
Unilever, which owns PG Tips, says it has not featured real apes for more than a decade:
"We have not featured chimpanzees in any PG Tips advertising for over a decade and now use the iconic ‘Monkey’ character as our brand ambassador.”
Latest ITV News reports
The boss of Twycross Zoo says chimps were damaged by their appearance in TV adverts for tea.