Men responsible for a publicity stunt in which a donkey was made to parasail for half an hour will not be charged for animal cruelty.

Russian police have said they will not bring criminal charges against the men as the donkey did not suffer physical injuries.

“We are not going to bring criminal charges because a vet examined the donkey and concluded it was clinically healthy,” said police spokeswoman Dina Goncharova.

The stunt, which angered animal charities and the public worldwide, took place at a beach in southern Russia earlier this month. Those involved were trying to attract visitors to a private beach.

The donkey was reported to be “screaming” in fear and then dragged through the water “half alive” before being returned to the shore.

The men could have faced up to two years in prison if found guilty.

Last week French actress-turned animal campaigner Brigitte Bardot wrote to Russia’s prosecutor general asking for the “strictest possible” punishment for those involved.

Warning: you may find this footage distressing