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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 June, 2003, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Chimp commercial criticised
The chimpanzees were dressed in tracksuits
The bicycle and car parts retailer Halfords is being accused of exploiting animals in a new television commercial.

More than 100 complaints have been made about the company's use of a group of chimpanzees in its advert with the slogan, "you pay peanuts, we give you monkeys".

Most of the people who voiced their concern said the use of the animals, which were dressed in tracksuits, is offensive.

Halfords, based in Redditch, Worcestershire, has defended the commercial and its treatment of the chimpanzees.

Animals 'ridiculed'

A statement released by the company said the filming took place under the supervision of professional animal trainers, and followed strict rules designed to protect the chimpanzees.

But the Captive Animals Protection Society is calling on Halfords to drop the advert.

A spokesman said it "ridicules" animals, and added that the charity plans to demonstrate outside the company's head office in Redditch.

A spokeswoman for the Independent Television Commission said most of the complaints were simply about the use of chimpanzees in the commercial.

"There are rules governing the use of animals in performances, but there is no rule saying you can't use an animal," she said.

The spokeswoman added that a handful of complaints were about the treatment of the chimpanzees.

She said checks would be made to see if the RSPCA's guidelines were followed during the filming of the commercial.

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