Accused animal torturer pleads guilty

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Originally posted on KIMT 3:

MASON CITY, Iowa – A man accused of torturing and killing a dog and leaving his infant daughter alone has changed his tune.

27-year-old Dacota Alan Witham of Mason City has now changed his plea to guilty for domestic abuse assault-3rd or subsequent offense, child endangerment and animal neglect.  Witham had been charged with animal torture, but prosecutors agreed to amend that count as part of a plea deal.

Witham was arrested after police were called about an assault on August 9.  After investigating, officers found a dog in Witham’s garage that had been killed in an inhumane manner.  Authorities also say Witham left his 7-month-old daughter unattended.

His sentencing is scheduled for October 8.

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Graphic Media: Mercy For Animals – Ducks In Despair, Secret Video Exposes Horrific Animal Abuse at Duck Factory Farm

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“PLEASE SIGN THE PLEDGE BELOW…THIS IS HORRIFIC!!!”

Dynamic World of Ducks

Ducks are friendly animals who prefer to spend their days swimming in lakes or ponds. At night, ducks will sleep in groups called paddlings. Cleanliness is extremely important to ducks, who will spend hours grooming and preening their feathers and keeping their nests free of waste and garbage.

A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at one of the largest duck factory farms in the country has exposed rampant abuse and neglect of these gentle birds.

HORRIFIC!!

An MFA investigator working at Reichardt Duck Farm in California documented:

  • Baby ducklings having the tips of their beaks burned with red-hot metal
  • Ducks suffering from illness and injuries without proper veterinary care
  • Birds trapped in or under the wire cage flooring left to slowly suffer and die
  • Ducks having their throats cut while still conscious and able to feel pain

Following the undercover investigation, MFA immediately alerted law enforcement authorities to violations of California’s anti-cruelty laws and presented them with a detailed legal complaint and meticulously compiled evidence of the violations. The evidence demonstrated an ongoing pattern of cruelty, neglect, and needless suffering.

Perhaps the worst abuse factory-farmed ducks are forced to endure is life without access to water for swimming or bathing. As waterfowl, ducks evolved to spend most of their time in ponds or lakes. In fact, ducks require pools of water to maintain proper health and to regulate their body temperatures.

At Riechardt Duck Farm and most duck factory farms, these semi-aquatic animals are forced to spend their entire lives on barren, wire mesh flooring. Since their fragile legs were not meant for standing or walking for extended periods of time, let alone their entire lives, many factory-farmed ducks develop crippling leg deformities and injuries, such as “bumble foot,” a painful inflammatory infection of the bottoms of their feet.

Without access to water, ducks become stressed and start to exhibit abnormal behaviors, such as head shaking and excessive feather preening. Unable to properly clean themselves, factory-farmed ducks often develop infections and painful eye diseases that can lead to blindness. Sadly, the first and only pool of water factory-farmed ducks will see is the electrified bath as they are hanging upside down about to have their throats cut open at the slaughterhouse.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. And you can help change it. As MFA continues to expose the unconscionable cruelties inherent in factory farming, and to diligently pursue justice by aiding prosecutions of animal abusers, consumers still hold the greatest power of all to end the needless suffering and death of farmed animals by adopting a compassionate vegan diet.

SIGN THE PLEDGE…News Link:-http://www.mercyforanimals.org/ducks/#petition

VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED

 

Published on 22 Oct 2014

Like chickens and turkeys, factory-farmed ducks are subjected to horrific abuse from the time they hatch until they are violently killed at the slaughterhouse. A new Mercy For Animals investigation at one of the nation’s largest duck factory farms exposes sickening cruelty and criminal neglect of these gentle birds. Take action at http://www.MercyForAnimals.org/Ducks

PETA: “Crush” Video Makers Sentenced to Life!!

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 Received this in email….Well done PETA…at last the courts are taking this despicable act of cruelty, seriously!

Dear Julie,

For three years, PETA Asia has been working with authorities in the Philippines to help them find and prosecute the makers of horrific “crush” videos in which scantily clad girls (one as young as 12 years old) are filmed stepping, standing and stamping on and slowly crushing animals – from the smallest of mice to large dogs who are tied down and helpless.

Now PETA Asia’s efforts to shut down the makers of these sick fetish videos have resulted in a landmark ruling against those who tortured and killed puppies, rabbits and other animals.

Recently, a Philippine court found Vicente and Dorma Ridon guilty of child abuse, animal welfare crimes, human trafficking and wildlife-protection crimes and sentenced the pair to life imprisonment and a fine of more than 9 million pesos (Rs. 1,23,00,000) each for their part in making the videos.

This huge victory began with a single compassionate person who stumbled upon these vile videos and took the time to report them to PETA Asia, which then worked with the help of authorities to ensure that the Ridons were located, investigated, arrested, prosecuted and ultimately sentenced for their crimes. PETA Asia hired one of the top law firms in the country to assist the prosecutor, thereby ensuring that the case was given full attention. The group also stands ready to fight an appeal.

In videos made by the Ridons, one dog is skinned alive and another is burned with a clothes iron. Rabbits flail and scream while their ears are cut off or they’re set on fire. One video shows a puppy who is crushed until the animal vomits up internal organs. The Ridons’ long sentence is a warning to anyone involved in the vile crush video industry that there are grave consequences for harming animals.

Their sentence is also a powerful reminder of PETA Asia’s commitment to helping animals no matter how long it takes. Thank you for all you do for animals in need. Compassionate people like you are helping PETA and our international affiliates save animals’ lives.

Kind regards,


Poorva Joshipura
Chief Executive Officer

 

Redwood City man pleads no contest to torturing, killing family puppy

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“WTF…this guy was already on psychiatric drugs…on probation…being treated for a mental illness. The girlfriend must have known, because she was scared of him, I just hope she didn’t leave him in charge of her daughter?? Don’t the Doctors who know these people are sick, have a duty to ensure they are not a threat to others & keep an eye on those that are a threat to society? Apparently not! He is a dangerous man, the kind that enjoys torturing a little puppy, to the point of death; in front of a minor! This sick bastard should never be let out to repeat this type of thing. Bet you in 5 years time his name comes up again for doing something heinous!! Yet another case for an “Animal Abuse Register”!

A Redwood City man accused of torturing and killing a puppy in front of his young daughter has pleaded no contest to animal abuse and child endangerment charges, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Don’t forget this evil mans face! Picture from Examiner

Alan Benjamin Velete

On Friday, 32-year-old Alan Benjamin Velete was sentenced to two years in jail, in addition to a year in a residential rehabilitation treatment center, for the cruel acts which left his family’s puppy dead. (Picture & text from http://www.examiner.com/article/man-who-tortured-puppy-front-of-young-child-is-sentenced-to-jail?CID=PROD-topic-email-articles

In exchange for Friday’s plea, Alan Benjamin Velete, 32, won’t receive more than three years in prison. He also pleaded no contest to violating his probation for a 2011 felony assault conviction.

He was arrested Jan. 9 on charges that stem from a pattern of violence over several weeks against his family’s terrier puppy, named “Lucky,” that ended with the 4-month-old dog’s death, according to the district attorney’s office.

The abuse began after Velete and his daughter moved into the Redwood City apartment of his girlfriend’s mother in early December. The man became incensed after the puppy defecated on the floor and over several weeks he tortured the animal, including punching and kicking it, spraying household cleaner in its eyes, putting it in a duffel bag that was hung in a shower for hours, taping its mouth closed and feeding it his psychiatric drugs, according to the district attorney’s office. Much of the harm was done in front of his daughter.

His girlfriend and her mother later said they were too terrified of Velete to contact law enforcement, according to prosecutors. But after Velete killed the puppy, the mother anonymously called police.

Velete’s defense attorney, Naresh Rajan, said his client was being treated for mental illness at the time of the abuse and was under a lot of stress, and he has since “expressed all kinds of remorse” for his actions. While in county jail, he’s been receiving help through a counseling program.

“It’s horrible, it’s a 4-month old puppy,” Rajan said. “There’s no excuse, but he wasn’t thinking with a normal person’s mind.” ” Then why was he allowed into society???”

News Link:-http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_26233265/redwood-city-man-pleads-no-contest-torturing-killing

Like if you think an “Animal Abuse Register” will stop people like this from getting another dog from a shelter: FL WOMAN ACCUSED OF STARVING PIT BULL SAY’S “she’ll just adopt another”

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A complaint made in July to the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control about a dog tied up out in the rain led to the arrest of Yolanda Williams of West Palm Beach on September 25, 2014, according to the Sun Sentinel. The six year old pit bull, Diamond, was found emaciated, tied up in the backyard.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK….

KEEP YOUR EYE’S OPEN FOR THIS BXXXH, IF YOU SEE HER WITH ANOTHER DOG, REPORT HER…SHE IS NOT FIT TO TAKE CARE OF JACK SHIT!!!!

Williams, 43, claims she never hurt her dog and that Diamond was just sick. According to officials, Williams moved to the area last year and Diamond proceeded to get sick, but she was not able to afford a veterinary visit. She claims to have tried to get the dog healthy but the dog just kept losing weight.

Authorities reported that Diamond’s bones were visible through her skin and the dog was constantly left outside without shelter. Diamond was removed from the property and placed in the care of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control. According to a representative of Friends of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, Diamond recovered and has since been adopted out.

Though Williams said she misses Diamond and cries whenever she goes in the backyard, she stated she would just get another dog after officials took Diamond. Thankfully, she never did.” She may not have then, but how do you know she won’t get another dog, unless you visit every week??”

Williams has been charged with animal cruelty but insists she is a good person who should not be charged. Authorities reported Williams appeared to have no remorse over her sick and emaciated dog. She was released on bond.

“SHE WILL GET ANOTHER DOG, IT’S CASES LIKE THIS WHERE ANIMALS ARE ADOPTED AGAIN…ONLY TO BE ABUSED…BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING FOR SHELTER STAFF, TO CONFIRM THE PERSON IS GENUINE; OR HAS ABUSED BEFORE!   THIS COUNTRY NEEDS AN “ANIMAL ABUSE REGISTER” JUST LIKE THE “REGISTER FOR HUMAN PEADOPHILES!!!”

News Link:-http://www.examiner.com/article/fl-woman-accused-of-starving-pit-bull-says-she-ll-just-adopt-another

GRAPHIC MEDIA: SLICE OF CRUELTY; Hidden-Camera Video Reveals Secret Pizza Topping – Disgusting Animal Animal Abuse

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“This is my personal opinion, it should have been posted a while ago, but its taken a while to write, due to pain. If people want to eat meat & dairy, I can’t stop them. But I feel they have a duty as the consumer to demand the meat they buy, hasn’t been kicked, punched or shocked around its genitals to get it moving; so it can go to slaughter! It’s plain to see (on the video) that downer dairy cows, that simply can’t move unaided, due to illness or broken bones are moved by brute force; instead of being PTS on the spot! I want the consumers to demand CCTV around farms & slaughterhouses, at the end of the day, it’s the consumer who pays for the meat & dairy products, they should care how the animals are raised! Consumers should be assured the meat & dairy products, came from animals given the best welfare standards possible!! It has been well documented that stressed animals, like those seeing their buddies killed in front of them or those that have been beaten or abused; affects the quality of their meat!  Have you ever seen a joint of beef in the supermarket fridge, that looks like the skin is bruised? well it probably is bruising; caused by the neanderthals who enjoy kicking & punching the shit out of the animals; because there is nobody to stop them!!” Please read this, regards the above:-http://www.fao.org/3/a-x6909e/x6909e04.htm

“I have seen MANY undercover farm videos showing cruelty before…I find this, the most shocking. The public have a right & need to know how the animals they eat, are actually treated before slaughter!! If there is one video to make you ditch cheese & dairy products…hopefully it’s this one! I became a vegetarian years ago, because I didn’t want to be a party to the abuse, farmed animals suffer daily; although I know not all farms allow their animals to be treated this way! Then a few years later, I saw what happened to the dairy cows, it stopped me immediately drinking milk or eating cheese; all I could see was the images of the animals suffering. I now only drink plant-based “Alpro” milk, I prefer the Hazelnut variety which is made by taking the best whole hazelnuts & blending them with pure spring water (plus a few added vitamins & calcium of course) which I feel is far better for you than milk from a dairy cow; who has been abused her whole life!”

 “Many dairy cows suffer beatings or heinous bodily abuse, throughout their life, especially on the conveyor belt of large mega dairy farms, where cows will never feel the grass beneath their feet! The only thing you can be certain of, is that the poor cow (constantly kept producing milk by artificial insemination) has its babies taken away at birth!! These farmers want the last bloody drop out of these poor dairy cows; before they will let them go to slaughter. I should imagine the cows are actually grateful, for an end to their lives of appalling abuse!  I am a picky eater, but have found Quorn alternatives, to make any normal meat dishes! I love Linda McCartney’s burgers & sausages, they are tastier than the quorn versions….you name the recipe & there will be some produce, able to make it; without harming any living animal; which is the diet I choose to eat!!

Is your pizza topped with horrific animal cruelty? A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation reveals shocking animal abuse at a milk producer for Leprino Foods – the world’s largest mozzarella cheese maker and major cheese supplier to Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Papa John’s.

PLEASE SIGN PETITION:-https://www.change.org/p/james-leprino-stop-sickening-animal-abuse-at-world-s-largest-pizza-cheese-supplier

Kicked, abused, electricity shocked in gential area, TORTURED BECAUSE THEY CAN!!!!

To maximize profits, the dairy industry keeps cows in a constant cycle of pregnancy, birth, and lactation. Typically, baby calves are dragged away from their mothers within a day of birth so that all of their milk can be sold for profit.

Female calves are either sold for meat or used as replacements for the “spent” cows in the dairy herd. Male calves, since they don’t produce milk, are often chained by the neck in tiny wooden boxes until they are killed for veal.

Like dogs, cats, zebras, and all other mammals, including humans, cows only produce milk when they are pregnant or nursing — and for the same reason: to nourish their young. The dairy industry steals this milk from calves for humans.

An undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals documented horrific animal abuse at Winchester Dairy in New Mexico, a milk supplier to Leprino Foods — the world’s largest mozzarella cheese producer. Leprino Foods is a primary cheese supplier to Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Papa John’s restaurants nationwide. The hidden-camera video footage shows:

  • Workers viciously kicking and punching cows, and stabbing them with screwdrivers, causing bloody wounds and injuries
  • Cows being violently whipped in their faces and bodies with chains and metal wires
  • Workers maliciously shocking sick and injured cows and dragging them with tractors
  • Sick or injured cows suffering from open wounds, infections, and injuries left to suffer without proper veterinary care

Expert Opinions

After reviewing the undercover footage, renowned animal welfare experts Drs. Bernard Rollin and Terry Engle and Mr. William Wailes from the animal science department at Colorado State University wrote: “Of all the atrocity videos I have examined on behalf of various animal advocacy groups, this one may well depict the most prolonged, and severest pain being inflicted on innocent, non-ambulatory dairy cattle. It is clear that the workers enjoy this infliction of pain and suffering, and even make remarks to that effect. … Of equal concern is the overall lack of training in animal care husbandry practices as well as in the importance to the social ethic of these types of unacceptable animal abuse. We all hold the owners/managers equally responsible for this egregious behavior!”

Dairy’s Dark Side

Treated as mere milk-producing machines, cows exploited and killed for milk and cheese endure lives of near constant misery and deprivation.

In order to keep producing a steady supply of milk, the cows are repeatedly impregnated. Several times a day, dairy cows are hooked by their udders to electric milking machines that can cause them to suffer electrical shocks, painful lesions, and mastitis (an infection of the udders). Some spend their entire lives standing on concrete floors; others are crammed into massive mud lots.

Cows have a natural lifespan of nearly 25 years, but the stress caused by factory farm conditions leads to disease, lameness, and reproductive problems that render cows worthless to the dairy industry by the time they are four or five years old.

These highly intelligent and social animals suffer unimaginable abuse from the time they are born and ripped from their mothers’ sides until they are so physically worn out from repeated pregnancies and constant milk production that they are sold for slaughter.

Although unconscionable cruelty and violence are standard practice in the dairy industry, caring consumers can help end the needless suffering of cows by choosing vegan alternatives to milk, cheese, and ice cream. Please visit ChooseVeg.comto learn more.

VIEWER DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED

SLICE OF CRUELTY

Published on 16 Sep 2014

Is your pizza topped with horrific animal cruelty? A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation reveals shocking animal abuse at a major pizza cheese supplier — Leprino Foods. Workers were caught viciously kicking, punching, and stabbing cows with screwdrivers, and violently whipping them in their faces and bodies with chains and metal wires. Take action at SliceOfCruelty.com

News Link:http://www.sliceofcruelty.com/

Cruelty Critics:-

“The video shows workers hitting, kicking and punching cows with hands, boots and sharp objects to get them into the milking parlor. The workers are clearly abusing the cattle and causing distress for no reason.” Dr. James Reynolds

“The handling of the dairy cows and calves by workers in this facility is unacceptably rough and overtly abusive. … This facility should cease operations due to severe animal welfare deficiencies and overt animal cruelty.” Dr. Debra Teachout

“Of all the atrocity videos I have examined on behalf of various animal advocacy groups, this one may well depict the most prolonged, and severest pain being inflicted on innocent, non-ambulatory dairy cattle.” Dr. Bernard E. Rollin, William Wailes and Dr. Terry Engle of Colorado State University

“The handling of the cows in this facility is inexcusably harsh, vicious and inhumane. The cows are kicked, beaten, jabbed with electrified prods and struck with sharp objects. … This behavior is gratuitous and unnecessary, as the workers go out of their way to beat the cows…” Dr. Lee Schrader

“I recommend that charges of animal cruelty be brought against the workers and managers involved, and that the facility be shut down. Such despicable cruelty to animals is beyond sickening and must not be tolerated.” Dr. Armaiti May

“The actions of the barn staff in this video are unacceptable, willful acts of abuse. … The callous acts depicted in this video footage do not meet expectations for humane animal handling.” Dr. Sara Shields

“The use of the hip lifter to drag and hoist a cow above the ground was definitely abusive. … Management should be partially to blame for the abusive handling because they failed to provide both training and appropriate equipment for moving downer cows.”  Dr. Temple Grandin

“Seriously after watching this, I just don’t understand how any humans with a heart, can contribute to this torture; by purchasing the meat or milk?? It actually breaks my heart that the public don’t know or if they do, don’t want to watch this…but these poor animals suffer from the day they are born…FOR GODS SAKE… PLEASE HELP THEM BY SIGNING THE PETITION BELOW: OPEN YOUR EYE’S!! PLEASE ONLY PURCHASE ORGANIC DAIRY PRODUCTS OR THOSE WITH THE RSPCA LOGO ON, STAND UP FOR THOSE THAT GIVE THEIR LIFE FOR YOU, TO STOP THE ABUSE…IT’S NOT A LOT TO ASK!!!

TELL WORLD’S LARGEST PIZZA CHEESE SUPPLIER TO STOP ABUSING COWS:- http://www.sliceofcruelty.com/
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION…IF NOT FOR YOU, THEN FOR THE ANIMALS THAT SUFFER DAILY…SIGN AT THIS LINK:- http://www.sliceofcruelty.com/#petition

 “Seriously, if you have had the balls to view this video or any other farm animal video (good for you); can you truly eat or drink animal products, knowing what happens?? Knowing they are tortured throughout their short lives?? Please just give it a go, swap your normal diet slowly, i.e milk, swap it for Alpro (probably the Almond milk is the easiest to try first) Look for enriched soymilk, too, which is also fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Then use Quorn mince to make a spaghetti Bolognese, lasagna, shepherds pie & other meat dishes. Try the Linda McCartney sausages & burgers…I’m sure you will be surprised, at how good they actually taste!!!”

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went Vegan:-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-frazier/vegan-diet_b_3996646.html

Top 10 Eco-Friendly Reasons to Buy Organic Meat & Dairy

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-buy-organic-dairy-meat.html#ixzz3EkMTxdct

Like if you agree, wild animals DO NOT belong in circuses!: “Animal circuses”: Cruel entertainment or a dying art?”

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“I understand, there may be some circuses who do put the animals needs first; I’m not saying all circuses are cruel to their animals! But I still don’t think wild animals should be in cages, travelling from town to town; to perform unnatural tricks, to the paying public; no matter how well they are cared for. The circuses may very well maintain their animals are well fed & cared for, that’s all well & good. But no pitched circus can provide its animals with a likeness to the animals own living habitats. It would be impossible for circuses to provide lions or tigers with rocks, caves, trees, brush or access to a lake, for tigers & other animals that love the water. These are the basics, so the animals can exhibit their natural behaviour; especially when they are constantly on the move! The council floor space granted to the circuses probably just about holds all the wagons carrying the animals, along with all the trucks needed to erect the circus tents, caravans & other stalls etc. So there is little room for the animals between performances; to act in a natural way!

Horses & zebra love to run round etc. but In the News Link below, it says that ponies are tethered to the circus tents, camels are tethered in fields, with horses in temporary stables & makeshift paddocks; animals can not express their natural instincts when denied their normal living habitats! Where do the tigers or lions go when not performing; tigers love to swim! Or do they just stay in their beast wagons? I’ve seen enough evidence to convince me that circus animals are not happy animals! They are denied their basic instincts, they are not meant to perform or stay in holding cells in between shows. As such many animals exhibit repetitive stereotypical behaviour; due to their lifestyles, they would never do it in the wild! So I still say wild animals do not belong in any type of exhibit where they are forced to perform…it’s wrong & about time our Government got off their backsides & implemented a BAN like they promised! .”

POST By Jonathan Brown 26/9/2014 http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/ 

Changing times: With a legal ban on the use of wild animal acts in UK circuses impending, Jonathan Brown goes behind the scenes at one of only two left in the UK to get to the heart of the debate.

Petra Jackson pictured with Zebedee the zebra at Circus Mondao, in Tingley, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Petra Jackson pictured with Zebedee the zebra at Circus Mondao, in Tingley, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Behind the big top at Circus Mondao – one of only two licensed animal circuses in the UK – zebras, camels and reindeer are roaming to the disgust of animal rights campaigners.

At its current resting place at Thorpe Lane, Tingley, there are Shetland ponies tethered to the circus tent, camels tethered in the fields, while its seven horses are split between airy temporary stables and makeshift paddocks to keep them separated from the freely wandering elderly zebra ‘Zebedee’.

By any means it’s a strange, if not slightly unnatural, sight to see at fields between Leeds and Wakefield nevertheless the animals seem contented and oblivious to the legal and moral storm that surrounds Circus Mondao’s very existence.

Next month draft legislation to enforce an outright ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, which could eventually come into force by December 2015, will have its crucial second reading amid increasing public protests.

Touring the circus on its eighth visit to rural Tingley in as many years, a vast convoy of 17 trucks, cars and caravans hauled around the country by a 30-strong workforce nine months of the year is gearing up for its next show.

We’re led around the site by veteran ringmistress Petra Jackson as Romanian gymnasts warm up in the big top and the animals are given time to relax outside. She is immediately on the defensive. “Have a look at where our animals live – you can’t believe everything you read on the internet,” she said. “It’s very hard to get our voice across. They are not kept in a shoebox under the bed, they’re grazing freely with fresh food and fresh water.”

It’s not surprising that she is on her guard. Life on the road with a modern day animal circus consists of a relentless stream of protests and media criticism outside of daily performances and weekly travel.

But having entered circus life aged 16 to train and care for dogs and ponies, Ms Jackson is used to the pressure. She has spent 22 years in the industry and joined Circus Mondao nine years ago.

Forthright in her view that all her animals live fulfilling lives, she is adamant that traditional circus is by no means the “Victorian relic” campaigners suggest.

“The people who come and see the show don’t say it’s outdated – it’s not what the general public are saying,” she said.

“The Great British public want to be able to make their own decision about what they want to see. If they didn’t want to see animals perform in the circus they wouldn’t come to see us and we would be out of business.” “The public did make their own decision about animals in circuses, according to a report by Born Free Foundation and RSPCA (2006).   “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

 98.9% of readers of the Sunday Mirror newspaper who expressed a view thought that the UK’s only remaining circus elephant (see section 6.1 – UK Circus elephant) should retire (2005). 

The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee The Environment,Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) is a cross-party committee appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure,administration,and policy of the Department for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and its associated bodies. In its examination of the Animal Welfare Bill,the Committee has recommended that: In addition,to date (11/01/06),92 Members of Parliament have signed Early Day Motion No.468 recognising that the circus environment cannot provide for the needs of wild animals. The use of wild animals in circuses be prohibited The use of all other performing animals in circuses,television,theatre,films,advertising etc.be licensed “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

In spite of her defiance, the evidence suggests the days of UK animal circus acts are numbered – even aside from the looming change in the law.

From 1998/9 the number of circuses practicing with wild animals in the UK fell from 20 to four in just five years, with dwindling audiences and high-profile animal cruelty cases contributing to the fact that only two such circuses exist today.

Circus Mondao, with its collection of over 30 mainly grazing stock, and Peter Jolly’s Circus, which features five lions and tigers, have rarely been out of the headlines as a result.

And having worked with big cats herself, Ms Jackson is hardly damning of their use. “The natural environment out there isn’t what it used to be with deforestation and there is so much more poaching and hunting going on,” she said. “People don’t realise they (big cats) relax a lot in the daytime and what they do in the circus is no different to what they do in the wild – they jump and leap from one rock to another, it’s just a trained movement.

She argues that most circus animals are “captive bred” and are used to a circus routine which causes them no harm, meaning animals such as Mondao’s zebra and one of its mules have easily outlasted their predicted life expectancies.

“The tide of opinion is against us. There’s no scientific evidence against us. We’ve been inspected by the Government, they have licensed us and all the inspections that have happened previously didn’t find anything wrong with the animals in the circus, it’s just that the animal rights people don’t think it’s right to have them in captivity.”

5.3 Abnormal behaviour
It is known that wild animals in captivity often display abnormal behaviour,with a particular problem being repetitive, seemingly functionless actions referred to as stereotypic behaviour. Stereotypic behaviour may be the result of frustrated needs,or be a coping mechanism developed in a current or previous inadequate or stressful environment,and the presence of stereotypic behaviour is generally acknowledged to be an indicator of current or previous poor welfare. Evidence exists for stereotypic behaviour being significant in circus animals (e.g.Friend & Parker 1999,Gruber 2000,Krawczel et al.2005, Schmid 1995),and this is supported by anecdotal evidence and video footage. Indeed,legislation in New Zealand attempts to tackle the problem,stating that animals displaying continuous signs of distress must not be held or used in circuses. Presence of stereotypic behaviour in some species may serve as partial evidence that circuses are unable to meet the needs of wild animals.  “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

Nationwide around 200 local authorities, including Leeds City Council, have pre-empted a wider ban by refusing to warrant animal circuses using council-owned land.

The arrival of Circus Mondao and Peter Jolly’s Circus in West Yorkshire last year attracted the attention of protestors in Otley and Queensbury, Bradford, last year, and Circus Mondao’s visits to Thornton, Calverley and Tingley so far have attracted similar responses from the likes of Leeds Animal Protection and Bradford and Calderdale Animal Friends.

Meanwhile Animal Defenders International has called on residents to avoid the circus as wild animal acts are an “outdated practice which is overwhelmingly opposed by the public”.

Jan Creamer, president of ADI, said: “Most people are now aware of the terrible suffering of wild animals in circuses and shun such acts. A national ban has been promised but, until it is brought in, these animals are forced to perform silly tricks and endure conditions which deny them their natural behaviours. We urge local people not to support circus suffering.”

Recent high profile cases of mistreatment have scarred the perception of animal circuses for many. Circus owner Bobby Roberts was given a three-year conditional discharge in 2012 for mistreating the UK’s last circus elephant. The conviction came after a groom was secretly filmed striking the 58-year-old elephant, called Anne, with a pitchfork in early 2011.

Nevertheless animal cruelty and circuses are not necessarily intertwined. Both remaining UK animal circuses are regularly vetted and have been licensed by DEFRA.

In fact after publishing the Wild Animals in Circuses Report which looks set to bring about the ban on wild animal acts, committee chair Anne McIntosh MP said “there is no overwhelming welfare case for a ban on wild animals in travelling circuses”, stating there are already laws in place to deal with welfare abuse.

But whether wild animal acts are at all necessary or viable remains debatable. Either way, the impending ban looks set to spell the end of a 150-year-old industry.

Ms Jackson added: “We don’t know what’s going to happen, that’s very true. We don’t think like to think about it.”

HISTORY OF ANIMAL CIRCUSES IS CHEQUERED

  • The use of animals in the circus dates back around a century and a half.
  • Prior to travelling circuses and the advent of public zoos, those wanting to lay their eyes on exotic wild animals would head to fairs.
  • Before animals were exhibited, travelling shows were likely to be exhibiting people with physical abnormalities, regarded at the time as ‘freaks of nature’.
  • From the 19th Century animals were taken on tour as displays of exotic creatures before they were combined with traditional circus shows – the first true animal acts involved horses.
  • US circus performer Isaac Van Amburgh is recognised as the first wild animal trainer in circus history, having entered a cage with several big cats as early as 1833.
  • Equestrian circus became a world phenomenon during the 1800s, with travelling circuses pitching up American-style big top tents from the mid 1830s.
  • In Europe, the travelling circus and menagerie reached its peak between the two world wars.
  • But while exotic animals once drew large crowds, the animal rights movements of the 1960s onwards pressured circuses to re-think their links with animals.
  • Shows began to present circus in a more artistic light, while many circuses began to end or amend their association with animal acts.
  • Although not a travelling circus, German-American duo Siegfried & Roy who performed with white lions and tigers in Las Vegas ended their 13-year stage careers after Roy was attacked and nearly killed by a seven-year-old male tiger named Montecore in 2003.
  • Such high profile accidents were added to by cases of ill treatment among some of the more unscrupulous circuses and began to shape perceptions.

News Link:-http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/animal-circuses-cruel-entertainment-or-a-dying-art-1-6862167

 Public Opinion.
Recent decades have seen increasing public exposure to media such as television documentaries and to foreign travel, allowing people the opportunity to observe either directly or indirectly animals in the wild, their natural behaviour and habitats. In addition, examples of animal cruelty such as those uncovered during the investigation and successful prosecution of individuals from the Chipperfield family in 1997-1999 have aroused considerable public concern. It is of little surprise therefore that there has been a concurrent decline in the popularity of circuses featuring performing wild animals, which in turn may have led to circuses disposing of their wild animal acts. There have been several polls that serve to indicate this change in public opinion:“See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

NOW:-Take action!

Ask the government to keep their promise to end the use of all wild animals in circuses by 2015!

If your local authority has allowed animal circuses on council-owned land, you can write a letter expressing your concernto your local councillor.
[1]  Harris S, Iossa G & Soulsbury CD (2006) A review of the welfare of wild animals in circuses (PDF 404KB). Report submitted to the Circus Working Group, 4 December.

Relevant documents

News Link:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/captivity/circuses

Wild animals in captivity

In 2012, the Westminster Government announced it would finally grant wild animals in circuses their long overdue ban. Two and a half years later and it appears that the government has turned its back on wild animals in the circus.

Our last chance before the election lies with Jim Fitzpatrick MP who has tabled a banning bill to pick up where the government has left off. The banning bill will have it’ssecond reading on 17 October. This is a very important date as it could be our very last chance to see this much discussed ban become a reality.

 News Link By RSPCA: http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/bigstop/-/articleName/CAM_The_Big_Stop_v2

Breeding animals for a few generations doesn’t wipe out thousands of years of evolution; essentially a tiger born in a circus has the same needs as a tiger born in the wild.

We’re not saying that the wild is an idyllic place free from problems – it’s not! But animals have evolved over thousands of years, adapting to live in certain types of natural environments.

Placing an animal in surroundings that are unsuitable for the species can cause stress and behavioural problems. Animals kept in an improper environment or fed the wrong diet can suffer, resulting in illness or death. In some environments, we believe it’s best not to keep certain wild animals at all, as their needs cannot be met – particularly if the animal is there for entertainment. Examples are;

If you cannot meet the needs of an animal then you should not keep that animal.

 News Link By RSPCA:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/captivity/-/articleName/WLD_InCaptivity

Wild animals don’t belong in circuses…

Take ActionThe complex needs of wild animals can never be adequately met in a circus environment and regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance are all unavoidable realities for the animals.

We have no confidence in the licensing scheme introduced by the government as an interim measure while the ban was being passed. Put simply, it does virtually nothing to protect the welfare of wild animals in circuses.
So what are we waiting for? In March 2012 the Westminster Government announced it would ban wild animals in circuses and the Welsh Government later announced they were keen for Wales to be included in the legislation. However, the animals are still waiting.

Take action, email your MP now and urge them throw their support behind this ‘last chance’ bIll…

News Link RSPCA:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/bigstop/-/articleName/CAM_The_Big_Stop_v2

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