Animal Rights Activists Plaster King Charles III Portrait with ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Stickers


Jonathan Yao’s divisive portrait of King Charles III has been vandalized with stickers by two animal rights activists. The group Animal Rights shared a video on X, formerly Twitter, showing the protesters using rollers to plaster a picture of Wallace, from the animated film series Wallace and Gromit, over the monarch’s face. The portrait is on display at Philip Mould gallery in London through June 21.


Also stuck to Yao’s painting was a speech bubble that said, “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!” Animal Rising wrote in its social media post: “Find out why King Charles, patron of the RSPCA [Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] should ask them to drop the Assured Scheme”, alongside a link to its website.


The RSPCA Assured Scheme is a program intended to raise welfare standards for farm animals throughout the United Kingdom. According to the RSPCA, farms, abattoirs, hatcheries, and haulers must be assessed and confirmed to have met its standards to remain in operation. A RSPCA Assured sticker is used on products to indicate their high quality.


However the Assured Scheme has faced scrutiny from animal rights activists over the exact criteria used to determine whether a farm passes inspection. Shortly before the vandalism, Animal Rising published an investigation into 45 RSPCA Assured farms, whose operations they described as “indefensible” 


In response to the vandalism, the RSPCA said in a statement: “We cannot condone illegal activity of any kind. Our staff and volunteers work extremely hard rescuing, caring for, and speaking up for animals. Animal Rising’s sustained activity is distracting from our focus on the work that really matters—helping thousands of animals every day.” 


According to the RSPCA, its Assured Scheme is “the best way to help farmed animals right now, while campaigning to change their lives in the future”. The statement added that “concerns about welfare on RSPCA Assured certified farms are taken extremely seriously and RSPCA Assured is acting swiftly to look into these allegations. After receiving the footage on Sunday morning, RSPCA Assured has launched an immediate, urgent investigation.”


Philip Mould told The Telegraph that he was “delighted to say there was absolutely no damage” to the portrait after the stickers were peeled off.


The first official portrait of King Charles III since his coronation last year, Yeo’s painting was unveiled at Buckingham Palace last month.

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