Leonardo DiCaprio has been criticised by animal rights activists Peta for filming a scene in upcoming The Wolf of Wall Street with a chimpanzee.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) have launched an online petition in the hopes that the Inception star will never work with animals in films again.

Julia Galluci of Peta told Wenn, "Someone as committed to environmental concerns as Leonardo DiCaprio should know better than to support the well-documented cruelty involved in using great apes for entertainment.

"Peta hopes the next time Leo receives a script with an ape actor in it, he'll remember that these sensitive animals are stolen from their mothers at birth and subjected to physical abuse – and he'll demand a re-write."

The scene Peta have taken issue with sees DiCaprio interact with a chimpanzee, holding hands and walking with it through an office and later picking it up.

The Wolf of Wall Street is out on January 17, 2014.