Circus bypasses Ipswich City Council ban on exotic animals

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  • Amy Mitchell-Whittington  Amy Mitchell-Whittington

A circus that features lions, monkeys and camels has set up in Redbank, bypassing the Ipswich City Council’s longstanding ban on circus performances featuring exotic animals.

Lennon Bros. Circus opened its show to audiences last Friday on a block of land opposite Redbank Plaza off Collingwood Drive at Redbank.

While a spokesman for Lennon Bros. Circus said they were granted approval to set up on what they claim is private property, an Ipswich City Council spokesperson was adamant the land was state government-owned road reserve.

“Ipswich City Council had no involvement in approving the use of the land for a circus,” the spokesperson said. Deputy mayor Paul Tully said he was disappointed the state government had given the go-ahead for the circus.

“They should be working with the council to keep circuses with exotic animals out of the city rather than bypassing the council,” Cr Tully said.

A spokesperson for local MP Jo-Ann Miller was unable to confirm whether the land was state owned. The Ipswich City Council banned the use of exotic animals in circuses in 2009 however the ban does not include events held on private or state-owned land.

The circus, which will run until October 2, features three lions, ponies, monkeys, camels, mini donkeys and dogs. A statement on Lennon Bros. Circus’ website claims it is one of two circuses left in Australia with a big cats program.

The RSPCA is opposed to exotic animals being featured in circuses because the requirements of circus life on exotic animals were “not compatible with the physiological, social and behavioural needs of these animals”.

The Gold Coast City Council was the latest council in the state to ban the performance of exotic animals at circuses on council-owned land.

News Link:http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/circus-bypasses-ipswich-city-council-ban-on-exotic-animals-20160919-grjpi4.html

Campaigners welcome SNP move to ban wild animals in travelling circuses

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“Well let’s hope this has more luck than the supposed ban on animals in circuses in England…which after several years of being promised is still no further on; pitiful & Lame! Scotland I hope you implement the new laws quickly & put England to shame!”

By:-Daniel Sanderson, Scottish Political Correspondent

The move follows concern over the treatment of animals exploited to entertain circus crowds

ANIMAL rights campaigners have welcomed a commitment to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland.

The move would deliver on an SNP manifesto commitment and follows a 2014 consultation in which 98 per cent of the public backed a ban.

That year, it emerged that two lions and three tigers were spending the winter in small cages in Aberdeenshire, leading ministers to commit to “look carefully” at introducing legislation.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman confirmed that it now “intends to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.” She added: “We are currently investigating the best mechanism for introducing legislation on ethical grounds and will make further announcements in due course.”

The Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity, said it was “delighted” with the pledge, which means Scotland is on course to become the first part of the UK to introduce a ban, although they are widespread across the world.

However, it said questions remained over the timescale and called for swift action. Chris Draper, programmes manager for captive wild animals, said: The Government in Westminster has promised a similar ban in England but has not proceeded with bringing in the already-written legislation. We would hate to see Scotland replicate the mistakes and delays that have occurred south of the border, and urge the Scottish Government to act swiftly to end the practice once and for all.”

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its Scottish Branch also welcomed the announcement.

A spokesman said: “The welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus in terms of housing nor being able to express normal behaviour. While this specific issue may not affect a great number of individual animals in the UK, we nevertheless believe it is emblematic of the way we treat all animals under human care.

“We are pleased to see the new Scottish Government not only identifying opportunities to improve animal health and welfare in Scotland, but taking hold of these opportunities with both hands – and we would urge other UK Governments to follow their lead.”

News Link:-http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/14556767.Campaigners_welcome_SNP_move_to_ban_wild_animals_in_travelling_circuses/

Graphic Video – Animals Australia; Greyhound Racing, What Everyone Needs To Know – Petition To Sign

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Greyhound racing authorities publicly call it ‘abhorrent’. They also say it has been ‘outlawed’. But that hasn’t stopped high profile trainers across the country from subjecting defenceless animals to barbaric live baiting rituals in an attempt to gain a ‘winning’ edge on the racetrack.

Viewer Discretion Advised

Published on 18 Feb 2015

They’re the victims you’ll never see at the racetrack. Tied up, terrified, and savagely mauled in widespread ‘live baiting’ sessions. Groundbreaking Animals Australia / Animal Liberation Qld investigations uncover the shocking truth. More @http://www.GreyhoundCruelty.com

***WARNING*** Please note that this video contains footage of which many will find distressing. To take immediate action to help animals without watching the video, head to http://www.GreyhoundCruelty.com

POSSUMS  

Native possums — a protected species — were also tied to lures and flung violently around training tracks. Before being used as live bait, one mother possum watched on helplessly as her baby was killed in front of her.

PIGLETS  

Piglets — one of the most intelligent and sensitive of all species — were a common choice among live baiters. Their futile squeals could be heard as their bodies were torn apart.

RABBITS  

After several laps, rabbits with pieces torn from their bodies twitch and writhe in agony. Their spine-chilling screams ring out across the training track.

KITTENS  

While investigation footage captured only piglets, rabbits and possums — kittens have long been reported to be among the victims of live baiting, too.

Investigation footage shows naturally gentle dogs provoked into displaying aggressive and violent behaviour in ‘blooding’ sessions. Those who don’t race fast enough to turn a profit are often killed — sometimes they are shot.

The inherent conflict of interest presented by those ‘promoting’ the sport also ‘policing’ it could not be more damning. While self-regulation continues, there can be little hope that live baiting will ever be eradicated from this industry.

You can help put a stop to this cruelty. Make your voice heard today.

The damning Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Qld investigations have revealed that this sadistic training method is all too common.Terrified piglets, rabbits and native possums are all victims of live baiting — tied to lures, flung around racetracks at breakneck speeds, and then mauled to death. Some animals who survived their first attack were ‘re-used’ multiple times…

Bait‘ animals are not the only victims of this industry. Greyhounds themselves — naturally gentle dogs — are often kept in deplorable living conditions off-track. Live baiters will taunt and incite their dogs to chase, attack, and ultimately kill small animals.

If dogs fail to ‘perform’, they too may be killed. Industry-wide, some 18,000 greyhounds are killed every year because they aren’t deemed fast enough to win races.

The big question is — how can state governments and sponsors continue to support an industry that has been exposed for such abhorrent widespread illegal activity?

With the horrific revelations of live baiting cruelty in the greyhound racing industry following our investigations, I have been desperate to share with you a side to greyhounds that didn’t make it to the media this week. This little video has gone viral — watch it now and you’ll see why!

Published on 22 Feb 2015

If you’ve ever wanted a gentle, loyal, loving couch-potato to share your home with, consider adopting or fostering a greyhound today:http://www.AnimalsAus.org/beg

Despite their deep pockets, greyhound racing authorities have utterly failed to take effective action to address shocking brutality and illegal activity at the heart of this ‘sport’. Apparently, they didn’t even know about it. That is, until investigations by two small charities on a shoestring budget exposed routine and systemic ‘live baiting’…

 Something else that will you make you smile: Schweppes, Hyundai and Bendigo Bank are just some of the big names to end their support of this cruel industry in recent days:
Schweppes, Hyundai, McDonald's, Autobarn, Bendigo Bank, Century 21In fact, of all the major corporate supporters, just one company continues to support greyhound racing. Click here to see who’s left.
 The greyhound racing industry is on notice. Those who are willing to tie up, torture and kill animals in pursuit of a ‘win’ now have a national spotlight on their activities for the first time. With dozens of trainers now suspended, thousands of possums, rabbits and piglets will now be spared from the horror of being used as ‘live bait’. But while greyhound racing continues, we fear that innocent animals will still be tied up and mauled to death on private training tracks — albeit more carefully hidden.

If you haven’t already, please click here to add your voice to over 100,000 people taking a stand against greyhound racing cruelty. If you have — please share this with your friends and family today.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Together we can end greyhound racing cruelty, once and for all.

 Lyn White AM
Campaign Director

 Thank you.

Animals Australia and our colleagues at Animal Liberation Qld have been overwhelmed by the response to our investigations into the greyhound racing industry. Because you spoke out, this industry is under more scrutiny than ever before. State governments have launched inquiries; industry heavyweights have been stood down; sponsors are backing out; and commentators are questioning the future of the ‘sport’. Importantly, thousands of animals will be spared from the terror of being used as ‘live bait’. But there’s still much to do.

Please keep your voices loud, for the animals.

Animals AustraliaAnimal Liberation Qld

GREAT BRITAIN – Dark side of Greyhound Racing Investigation by BBC Panorama full Documentary 2014

Published on 4 Nov 2014

Panorama –
03/11/2014
The integrity of greyhound racing has been called into question by a Panorama investigation which has exposed blatant cheating and the drugging of dogs at the heart of the sport.
The undercover investigation caught a trainer revealing how he dopes greyhounds in order to effect betting coups – some of which he claims to have paid out up to £150,000.
The programme’s findings have prompted animal welfare campaigners to call for the government to reconsider the sport’s self-regulatory status.

Brian Blessed Gets Behind Campaign To Ban Wild Animal Circuses

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February 20, 2015

Brian Blessed: Profile

As the political saga surrounding the promised ban on wild animals in circuses in the UK continues, legendary actor Brian Blessed has urged the government to “end this circus madness” and finally legislate to ban such acts.

The ‘Flash Gordon’ star’s call for action comes as Animal Defenders International (ADI) reveals that the only and much criticised lion and tiger circus act will not be touring Britain this year.

Brian Blessed said “I am deeply opposed to the use of wild animals in circuses and have been working with Animal Defenders International to oppose such acts for many years. Despite repeated promises from the Government, we are still waiting for the law to pass and the animals are continuing to suffer. Please end this circus madness.”

Brian Blessed is among a string of high profile supporters of ADI’s campaign to ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ in Britain which includes Ricky Gervais, Sir Roger Moore, Brian May,Moby, Imelda Staunton, Eddie Izzard, Twiggy, Annette Crosbie, Sir Paul McCartneyand Dame Judi Dench.

Back in 2011, Brian Blessed made a similar plea following ADI’s shocking exposérevealing the terrible abuse inflicted on Anne, Britain’s last circus elephant. The actor joined the organisation and a delegation of MPs to present a letter to the Prime Minister calling for a ban. At the time Blessed stated, “now is the time for the government to legislate and put a stop, once and for all, to the draconian and humiliating spectacle of wild animals in circuses.”

As a result of changing attitudes and greater awareness of how circus animals are kept, trained and treated following investigations by organisations such as ADI, just two circuses in Britain currently tour with wild animals.

ADI can reveal that Thomas Chipperfield, a relative of the notorious Mary Chipperfield who was prosecuted for animal cruelty following an ADI investigation, who presents the only lion and tiger circus act in Britain, will not be touring with a circus this year. The act featured in Peter Jolly’s Circus last year, attracting widespread criticism and local protests.

Whilst in the circus and at their present overwintering location in Scotland, ADIdocumented how Chipperfield’s lions and tigers exhibited abnormal repetitive behaviour – not seen in the wild but commonly observed in circuses – indicating compromised welfare. Seeing the footage, vets Marc Abraham and Simon Adams said “Big cats are never meant to live like this” and “the limited space available in a travelling circus is unsuitable to big cats”. Although the animals will not be touring, they will likely remain in their temporary, confined living quarters.

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “While the government fails to take action, the suffering of wild animals in circuses will continue and it must take full responsibility. It is time to pass the ban that has long been promised to the public and the animals.”

Little progress has been made since the Government announced it would ban the use of wild animals in circuses in 2012, leading Jim Fitzpatrick MP to introduce a bill. Despite having cross-party support, Christchurch MP Christopher Chope has blocked the backbench bill on seven occasions. The bill will have its next second reading on Friday 27 February.

Whilst Britain stalls on progressing the ban, 30 countries have introduced laws prohibiting animals in circuses. ADI is working with authorities to rescue animals from circuses following wild animal circus bans in Peru and Colombia, and is currently caring for 30 lions and over 20 other animals. The organisation is seeking donations to complete its groundbreaking rescue mission ‘Operation Spirit of Freedom’.

News Link:https://www.looktothestars.org/news/13286-brian-blessed-gets-behind-campaign-to-ban-wild-animal-circuses

Graphic Video: California Towns Ban Bullhooks For Elephants

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 “Seriously, if you were caught using a bullhook, stick or broom etc. on a dog, cat or horse etc. whipping or poking it until it bleeds; I’m sure, you would be charged with animal abuse; & quite rightly so! These bullhooks are used to control elephants; via pain, just as various other weapons are used for the rest of the circus animals! Elephants may have thick skin, but did you know they can feel a fly land on them?? So how do you think a bullhook feels to an elephant when it’s used aggressively by an impatient trainer or handlers mucking out stalls etc. I bet it hurts like hell! Bullhooks are used to keep circus elephants in check, by tugging on sensitive parts of the elephant like their ear’s & gouging at their legs to make them perform unnatural tricks for the paying audience! Elephants were not made to entertain humans, which is why they are forced by the bullhook & electric prods (verified on undercover surveillance) to entertain! How else would one get an elephant to lift off front or rear feet, walk around a big ball with one foot on it, the other turning it, or how about getting them to do a handstand; using their trunks as a balancing aid? I’m pretty sure they don’t conform to words alone, or snacks! These elephants are performing stunts in such a way as they would never, in the wild; their bodies are simply not made to do balancing acts, it’s so unnatural for them to even consider doing tricks…but a bullhook used by a human, aimed at the right place, makes it much easier to get the job done, by causing pain. They’re not dogs who can learn a trick within half an hour using treats alone. Plus the tricks elephants are forced to do; adds injuries to their ailments later in life!!!bull hook

“Those that intentionally inflict pain & suffering & enjoy carrying out their sickening hold on animals, are not worthy of being called animal trainers or handlers etc.; they are good for one thing; picking up the mess after said animal has been to the toilet!! If they can yank an elephant round, how do the treat their family pets? They shouldn’t be or in the care of any animal; if they don’t mind whacking an elephant around its body, for simply getting a verbal command right!! Torture devices can be used right under the noses of the people, paying to watch the elephants or other animals at the circus; paying customers have no idea the animals are suffering; whilst performing ridiculous tricks! Innocent looking walking sticks can be used to enforce pain, yet they look totally harmless to the distanced crowd! However, they are anything but innocent, a simple walking stick can be turned into a torture device used on any animals whilst performing etc. Props like this can have spiked nails in one end that the trainers uses to control the animals! Those watching the performance wouldn’t be able to see nails in sticks etc…they are simply too far away; but it still looks so innocent to those watching!”

“To be honest I’m astounded that more elephants haven’t attacked, killed their trainers or gone on a rampage; like several have over the years, due to the constant abuse from humans carrying  bullhooks or other items, such as a walking cane, filled with spiked nails, that when touched, cause pain etc! Could it be that elephants who were caught in the wild, remember the heartache of being taken from family & the torture chamber called the Phajaan? I’m sure those that were caught wild will never ever forget the pain of being taken from its mother & family! But it’s the Phajaan, the poor little elephant will remember forever, because that was home where he was a victim to horrendous abuse! The Phajaan is where all wild caught small elephants are horrifically tortured daily; used for one reason other than a horror chamber…it breaks the spirit of the elephant!

 Once they are in the Phajaan they can’t turn or even lay down; heavy duty rope or chains cause terrible suffering & injuries! Each foot is tied down so tightly to stop them having any chance of hurting the people who are torturing them. Rope is tied around the neck & body so there is no way they can escape! Food & water is used as a training tool too (it still is being used today) the elephants get neither if they haven’t complied with the human commands being barked at them all day for weeks or months! The elephant will stay tied in the phajaan, being whipped, poked & prodded daily to the point of bleeding from  wounds!! It stops, only when & depending on how quickly the humans can break the little elephants spirit! That is what the phajaan is made for…to literally break the elephant down, both physically & mentally, until it has no fight left in it & the elephant starts to obey the human commands!! Captured young, these elephants have to be submissive before they can be trained for log work or to be sent somewhere to be trained as a circus elephant! Nobody will pay for an elephant if it will not obey human commands. The Phajaan is used as a medieval cage of wood & it succeeds in breaking the most hardened spirit of an elephant…over time the elephant just won’t be able to stand the beatings or go on without water or food; he must submit to stop the pain & he realises; he is now a slave to humans!”

“I have a theory about why most captured elephants try not to retaliate after a beating with a bullhook etc. They say elephants have fantastic memories…well perhaps it’s the thought of being taken back to that torture chamber, where the elephants endured terrible suffering & beatings…in the Phajaan; at the hands of humans!! The horror of that place must be tattooed in the memory of every elephant that suffered there. The elephants don’t understand they will never return to that horrible place if they don’t conform. The Phajaan & the humans, who mentally & physically broke them using such weapons like the bullhooks, will stay with the elephants forever! They may be in a different place, but it is still the humans who control them! Do the elephants even know their own power & strength against humans; probably not, because it was forced out of them in the Phajaan? They only know that humans are the leaders & with their torture tools, can still physically beat & hurt the elephants, if they don’t comply!!”

“Could fear alone stop the elephants from causing harm to their trainers or owners, after all, thats all the elephants know about humans; how much pain they can cause! When they are shipped off to do other work, where all elephants know of humans is they are to be feared & must be obeyed in order not to receive punishment, I wonder if the new elephant looks at the other elephants old wounds & realises; that they too came through the same cruel path!  So do they actually behave & perform out of fear? Fear of going back to the Phajaan perhaps ensures most elephants comply! What do you think?”

“Please watch the video below, to help understand what elephants endure through life. A circus elephant could have come through the same route; tortured & abused in the Phajaan, their spirits forever broken at the hands of humans!”

By Kristin J. Bender Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif.The circus will stop coming to Oakland in a few years after a tool used by elephant handlers was banned in the city.

The Oakland City Council earlier this week unanimously approved an ordinance outlawing bullhooks. The instrument resembles a fireplace poker, with a sharp hook on one end that is used by trainers to control the animals. 

Tom Rider, a former circus elephant trainer, shows a bullhook that is used by elephant trainers. The Oakland, Calif., City Council earlier this week unanimously approved an ordinance outlawing bullhooks, an instrument resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end that is used by trainers to control the animals. Oakland is now the second city in California, after Los Angeles, to ban the use of a bullhooks. File photo

Oakland is now the second California city, after Los Angeles, to ban the use of a bullhooks. The circus will stop performing in Los Angeles in summer 2016. The Oakland ban takes effect in 2017.

“(That) will be the last time we will be in Oakland because we can’t perform without the elephants,” said Stephen Payne, spokesman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

But the circus is still holding out hope about having future performances in Oakland. “We may see if the Oakland City Council wants to reconsider,” he said. Payne said the move is a loss for people who enjoy the circus. An estimated 30,000 people attended the Oakland circus over six days last summer, he said.

“Please Note Viewer Discretion advised! “Breaking the spirit of a young wild elephant” to be used to pull logs, work in the tourist industry or sold onto circuses”

“To Truly understand how an elephant’s spirit is broken & make them afraid of man…you really should watch this video”

Published on 8 Mar 2012

Here are the images of the training of wild elephants that are caught for the tourist trade. Please remind yourself and tell others that by visiting elephant camps you are supporting this!

The Oakland Zoo and animal rights activists supported the ordinance, saying bullhooks are cruel and inhumane. Other U.S. cities to ban bullhooks include Miami Beach, Florida.

Proponents say the tool is designed to give trainers dominance over elephants and does not hurt or harm the animal. “A lot of the information that was presented to the Oakland City Council by the proponents was designed to distort our animal care,” Payne said.

Oakland Zoo Chief Executive Officer Joel Parrott said the practice hearkens back to the turn of the 20th century and has no place in modern times.

“If I suggested using a bullhook on giraffes to get them through gates or to stab tigers to get them to do what I want them to do, everybody would react,” Parrott said. “The only reason it’s acceptable is we’ve grown used to it with the elephants.”

News Link:-http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20141219/business/141218357/

“Quote links below; read the & find out something you never knew about elephants”         

                                                                                                     The Sense of Touch

Despite its thickness, an elephant’s skin is very sensitive, to the point where it can feel a fly land on its back. Surprisingly, it is also sensitive to the sun, and baby elephants are even known to sunburn. The species’ notorious love for mud and baths helps alleviate both of these problems.

If you liked this article and the Bonus Facts below, you might also enjoy:

Bonus Elephant Facts

  • Elephants can be either “right-handed” or “left-handed,” and this is often shown by greater wear on one tusk as opposed to the other. Dogs and Cats are also often right or left “handed”.
  • Unlike the rhinoceros, whose horn is made of hair-like keratin, elephant tusks are actually overgrown incisors. Incredibly long, at least one-third of an elephant’s tusk is inside the animal’s head, outside of view. The outside, ivory part of the tusk is, like its other teeth, comprised of dentine surrounded by a layer of enamel. An elephant’s tusks never stop growing.
  • The heaviest tusks recorded weigh about 220 pounds per tusk, while the longest ever discovered were 11 feet long! Tusks today are generally much smaller due to the ivory trade and poaching keeping them from reaching such mammoth sizes.
  • In a rare example of unanimity, the whole world banned the trade in ivory in 1989 with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In the decade preceding the agreement, more than half of Africa’s elephants had been killed in order to harvest the ivory, and today, poaching continues. In fact, in 2011, only a portion of the largest seizures collected found in excess of 50 thousand pounds of poached ivory. To combat this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had proposed regulations in February 2014 that would have placed “a near-total ban on anything made with ivory moving in and out of the U.S.” However, the sweeping regulation had many concerned that it would inhibit the transportation of “old ivory,” such as that found in antique pieces of art and musical instruments. After a public outcry, particularly from concert musicians who often need to travel with their antique, ivory-fitted instruments to perform, FWS carved out an exception in May 2014.
  • Today there are somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 African elephants remaining, and, unless things change, they are predicted to become locally extinct within 50 years

News Link with more interesting facts about elephants:http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/07/skin-african-elephant/

PETA: Camels, Llamas, and Sheep Abused in New York!

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“This is outrageous….please visit the link below & show you care about animals….they are not machines, they are sentient beings like us, afraid of loud noises, crowds, stress etc. I wouldn’t let my dogs live in those conditions, let alone these other poor animals who are used to wide open spaces! Please click the link below to sign the petition!”

Using live animals for entertainment is NEVER acceptable, yet this is exactly what the Madison Square Garden Company is doing to promote the Radio City Music Hall‘s Christmas Spectacular holiday shows.

No animal should be forced to live in these conditions!

The camels, llamas, and sheep used in these shows are imprisoned in cramped holding pens and forced into stressful and terrifying situations—including being paraded down streets amid the traffic and huge crowds of New York City.

When they’re not confined to their tiny pens or weaving through crowded streets, these animals are put on stage under bright lights in rooms with amplified sound systems.

You KNOW that this is wrong. The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and kindness, but these animals won’t experience either this season.

Urge the Madison Square Garden Company to have a heart this holiday season and stop using live animals in shows!

TAKE ACTION NOW & SIGN AT THE FOLLOWING:-https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=5AA9D547A8740D92003FC3464A34C01B.app304a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5766

News Link:-https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=5AA9D547A8740D92003FC3464A34C01B.app304a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5766

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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