A theme park in China caused international outrage after a pig was strapped to a pole and pushed off the edge of a bungee jumping platform.

Video footage shows the pig squealing in pain as it is forced in a harness and flung off a 223ft tall attraction in a bright blue cape. The publicity event – which organisers dubbed the golden pig bungee jump – was held to mark the opening of a new ride on January 18th.

Theme park bosses were forced to apologise after critics branded it a ‘vulgar marketing tactic’ and a ‘form of torture’.

Image: AsiaWire

Animal cruelty is not punishable by law in China, where dogs are boiled and burned alive at the controversial Yulin Festival. The country has been criticised for its attitude towards animal welfare and there is growing support from within for reform on the issue.

A statement put out by the park, based in Chongqing, said: ‘We sincerely accept netizens’ criticism and advice and apologise to the public. ‘We will improve [our] marketing of the tourist site, to provide tourists with better services.’

What happens to the pig afterwards is not shown on the video, but local media reports say it was eventually sent to a slaughterhouse.

Image: AsiaWire

The video has been viewed more than 50 million times in just 48 hours. Some on social media said it wasn’t any different to ‘killing a pig for food’ but the majority of users condemned the company’s actions.

One said: ‘Outright animal cruelty for human entertainment. Sad to see.’ Another said: ‘This is a super vulgar marketing tactic’. Animal protection organisation Peta condemned the incident, calling it ‘animal cruelty at its worst’. Jason Baker, Peta senior vice-president of international campaigns, told the BBC:  ‘Pigs experience pain and fear in the same ways that we do, and this disgusting PR stunt should be illegal. ‘The Chinese public’s angry response should be a wake-up call to China’s policy-makers to implement animal protection laws immediately.’