“I am so f-ing mad over this, I’ve probably made a ton of mistakes, sorry, I’m in a lot of pain, but had to get this out…oh poor Anne, we have failed you, I’m so sorry!”
“For Christ sake, she was a circus elephant, they are forced into doing degrading tricks, detrimental to their bodies which is why poor Anne now has arthritis. Forced by beatings, electric prods etc. But, no matter, we will continue to charge motorists with dodgy lights more than we charge a person in control of an elephant…MORONS!
- Bobby Roberts found guilty today of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering at Northampton Crown Court
- Walks free from court after receiving three year conditional discharge
- Wife Moira Roberts was cleared of all charges
- Anne now lives at Longleat in a paddock with her own sandpit
- Animal rights group said the sentence is ‘derisory’
Circus owner Bobby Roberts was today convicted of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Asian elephant Anne.
Roberts was also convicted of failing to prevent an employee from repeatedly beating the animal, which was filmed chained to the ground and being hit with a pitchfork. “This is all just contradictions…the owners came off best, poor Anne still has the scars & memories!”
Roberts, 69, who ran Super Circus in Polebrook, Cambridgeshire, also failed to ensure the elephant’s needs were met by not giving her medication for her arthritis.“So why not charge him for that?”
He was given a three-year conditional discharge at Northampton Crown Court but was not ordered to pay costs and was not banned from owning animals. “WTF..f-ing furious to say the least!”
His wife Moira, 75, was cleared of all three charges by District Judge David Chinnery following a five-day trial at Northampton Crown Court.
District Judge Chinnery told Roberts the real cruelty was meted out by the groom, who is believed to have returned to Romania. “Who told him, he had been filmed? who told him to get out asap? the owners did…. God I’m fuming over this!”
During the trial, the court was shown footage filmed secretly by animal welfare group Animal Defenders International (ADI) of the elephant being kicked and struck with a pitchfork several times by the groom at the circus’s winter quarters last year.
The footage, filmed between January 21 and February 15, 2011, also showed Anne constantly chained to the ground.
“I am showing this video purely for those who may not be aware of what happened to Anne etc. Then they may understand how furious I am that the Roberts got off without even so much as a slapped butt!!”
The elderly animal could be seen chained by one foot and one hind leg in a barn.
Such has been the public outcry since the footage was released, the judge said Roberts had ‘suffered enough punishment over the last 18 months.‘
He told Roberts: ‘As a result of what has happened your business is effectively at an end. You have lost everything which you have built up over the last five decades. I am told that you have no funds at all.’ “Are we supposed to feel sorry for these people, who have made a living out of exploiting & beating animals?”
He added it would be ‘disproportionate’ to ban him from keeping animals, especially because of his ‘exemplary record or animal husbandry’. “How are we supposed to know that, can’t have hidden cameras everywhere!!”
Roberts claimed he was unaware that Anne had been constantly chained and that the groom, who is believed to have returned home to Romania, had not followed his instructions. “Sorry, did he never look at Anne’s feet or legs? could he not see the strap marks? So one must assume Anne had no foot care, for nobody to notice! “
He admitted that the elephant would be chained up at times but said his instructions were that she be let loose behind an electric fence in a cordoned-off area. “Chained up at times, what times would that be, she is in her winter quarters, why would she be chained for a couple of hours, then loose…Tell me where in her winter quarters could she have been behind an electric fence? if she was, she still would have only been able to take a step or two!”
District Judge Chinnery added during sentencing: ‘The chaining I regard as serious but the real cruelty it seems to me was inflicted by your groom, a man whom you had entrusted with the care of Anne, behind your back and without your knowledge.’
He said it was to Roberts’ credit that he had ‘cared for and managed animals for the greater part of your seventy tears without criticism from any quarter.’ “Mmmm, so how did Anne learn those tricks she did in the circus, one only has to look at any elephant training in a circus, behind the scenes of course, to see that they are beaten into submission.
The footage was taken in the barn at the circus’ winter quarters where Sri Lankan elephant Anne, who worked for Roberts since 1957, was kept when not on tour.
Prosecutor Helen Law said in the film Anne, who already had arthritis, rocked backwards and forwards which, as in humans, is a sign of distress.
The legs of the elephant – who was not receiving medication for her arthritis – could also be seen to buckle several times in the footage.
Following the verdict, Richard Crowley, deputy chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands, said: ‘The images of the abuse suffered by Anne the Elephant upset a great many people across the country. “Yes they bloody well did!”
‘Bobby Roberts had clear responsibilities for this elephant’s welfare, which he wilfully neglected when he treated her appallingly. Anne was kept chained up, beaten regularly and suffered significantly as a result. “Yes he neglected Anne; but you let him off scott free, what does that say to other abusers??”
‘Not only did Bobby Roberts breach his professional obligations towards Anne, but his neglect and abuse was criminal. He gave instructions for Anne to be chained and took no action to prevent the beatings she had received, failing to provide any training or supervision for the staff member responsible for her. “So why has this man got away with not even a slapped wrist?? his neglect was criminal; yet he is a free man who can go his merry way!!”
‘Today should serve as a warning that those who mistreat animals can expect to face prosecution.’ “What, when you let people off the hook? sorry but Roberts should have taken some of the blame, he was with that elephant everyday & must have seen the marks of abuse on her poor body, what about the arthritis? he didn’t do anything to ease Anne’s suffering, knowing she would be in pain…to give or do nothing; then to say it should serve as a warning…well it’s ridiculous!”
The RSPCA’s Jody Gordon said: ‘Anyone looking at this shocking footage can see how this poor elephant suffered, and this clearly spells out how completely unacceptable this is.
‘It is only a pity those physically beating Anne in the film footage could not be prosecuted also.’ “Why, because they got wind of what was happening & had time to flea without the Roberts knowing…please…I still think it was them who told him to leave, thinking they would be out the woods if he had gone”
Animal Defenders International chief executive, Jan Creamer called the sentence ‘derisory’ and provides no faith that the Animal Welfare Act can protect animals in circuses.’ “And she is so bloody right!”
She said: ‘Inspection after inspection fails to identify this abuse. These practices will not stop until the use of wild animals in circuses is prohibited by law.
‘For years, Animal Defenders International has been campaigning to set Anne free from her chains and the terrible conditions in which she was kept and, despite the obstacles we faced at every turn, we refused to give up hope.
Our commitment to ensure that action was taken has given Anne her freedom from the circus, along with the camel called Monty.’ “Yet, had she not been taped undercover, this would still be happening. But the FBI call people with an interest in animal welfare, terrorist…FFS…we are not terrorists, we only want animals to be treated properly! Never mind animal rights folk, the FBI should concentrate on those who actually want to harm & kill people!”
She added: ‘Anne’s story is one repeated all over the world. It is time to ensure it never happens again here. The government must prohibit the use of wild animals in circuses as they have promised.’ “The Governments promises mean jack shit, first they led us a merry dance with red herrings i.e the Austrian case…now, its costing more for this farcical license system than it would if they just added a couple of paragraphs to the Animal Welfare Act 2006”
She also called on Longleat to find the elephant a companion as a ‘matter of urgency’. “Totally agree, Anne is so lonely, you can see it in her eye’s, doesn’t every species have the right to a companion?”
Published on 3 Apr 2012 by LongleatPodcast
We are delighted to announce that Anne the elephant today celebrates her first anniversary living at Longleat Safari Park. Since her arrival on 3rd April 2011 she has had a new lease of life and continues to enjoy her retirement under the care and supervision of her experienced keepers and dedicated team of experts. Her keepers and everyone at Longleat are extremely grateful for the public support and messages of goodwill Anne has received over the past year.
Her keepers have spent huge amounts of time over the past twelve months working with Anne to improve her wellbeing and physical condition. The difference and improvement in skin condition, feet, trunk, ears and general muscle tone is clear to see and she certainly doesn’t look like an elephant approaching 60.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237469/Anne-elephant-abuse-Circus-owner-Bobby-Roberts-guilty-causing-unnecessary-suffering.html#ixzz2D4Mbopzs
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook