Push to reinstate ban on circus animals performing on Gold Coast City Council-owned properties

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ANDREW POTTS, EXCLUSIVE, Gold Coast Bulletin; September 4, 2016 3:00pm

A CITY hall cage fight is brewing over plans to revive a ban on circuses with exotic animals performing within the city. Fur is expected to fly, with councillors set to defy the recommendations of bureaucrats and vote to ban circus animals on city controlled properties, nearly four years after such a ban was lifted.

A petition calling for the ban will go before the Community and Cultural Development committee on Thursday with council officers recommending that “no action be taken”. But committee head Bob La Castra said the advice was unacceptable and that he could not stand by and do nothing while animals “suffered”.

He urged ratepayers across the city to put pen to paper and lobby their elected representatives before Thursday’s vote.

Cr Bob La Castra is leading the charge to reinstate a ban on circus animals performing on the Gold Coast. Photo: Jerad Williams

“The views of those who believe this to be still acceptable are totally out of line and dated,” he said. “This should not be happening in our own backyard and we need those people who feel strongly about this to make their feelings known, so write to your councillors, speak out about it and fight this barbarity.

“By allowing these circuses on our land we are complicit in what they are doing and banning them would send a message that what they are doing is not right and that we are taking a stand.”

Police and Animal Rights campaigners outside Gold Coast Council Chambers protesting against the circus. Photo by Richard Gosling

If the ban is successful, circuses with exotic animals would still be allowed to perform on private property. A ban was first put into place in 2009 by the council with the backing of then-Mayor Ron Clarke. It was lifted in a January 2013 decision by the council in which Mayor Tom Tate used his casting vote to break a deadlock tie.

The Gold Coast Bulletin understands councillors on each sides of the argument are running the numbers to determine if the ban could potentially pass.

Both sides concede a vote could go either way.

But Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow, an ardent supporter of circuses, said she would fight the ban tooth and nail and declared the opposing argument to be “crap”.

Cr Dawn Crichlow with Massai the Lion. Pic Jono Searle.

“The kids want the circuses and I will fight all the way because it is a matter which is close to my heart and those of many others,” she said. “I am sick of the noisy minority coming up with all this crap. “I cannot believe this women condones & thinks it’s ok for children to see abused & tortured animals, just for their pleasure….condoning this just lets kids think that it is ok to be cruel to animals for the sake of entertainment????   By allowing circuses to carry on using animals is agreeing with the torturous training these poor young animals have to endure. Would it be ok to watch a double human act if you knew that one-half of the act was constantly being physically abused & tortured; just for entertainment???? NO, I DON’T THINK SO!!! ANYONE THAT DOES THINK ITS OK…WELL, I THINK THEY NEED TO BE SEEKING PROFESSIONAL  HELP”

RSCPA chief executive Mark Townend called on the council to “move with the times” and end the mistreatment of exotic animals.

“I would hope the council gets into 2016 thinking because realistically circus animals are very 1970s,” he said. “There are great circus which do not put animals through these ridiculous things which are not in their natural behaviour. “I appeal to the council to move with the times because we can have a successful circus without putting animals through such treachery.”

The petition calling for the ban to be reinstated was submitted to the council in March by then-Robina councillor Jan Grew in the final act of her 22 year political career.

More than 45 councils across Australia have exotic animal bans in place. Both City of Melbourne and Penrith both voted to introduce their own boycotts this year. Protesters are expected to attend Thursday’s council committee meeting and security will be on hand.

News Link: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/pets-and-wildlife/push-on-to-reinstate-ban-on-circus-animals-performing-on-gold-coast-city-councilowned-properties/news-story/977c58756cfc65467f2269bf8bac94f3

“See how animals are really trained to perform for your entertainment!! Then ask yourself; is this fair on the animals? Do you enjoy knowing they have been hurt for you entertainment????”

“The Circus, where animals are miserable & go insane; confined to metal cages when not being abused & are trained through fear; fear of being whipped, hit with objects, tied by the neck i.e tortured, etc. etc.”

(Anyone who condones this…will be classed as an animal abuser through my eyes)

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

Alexei Sayle Tells Government To Get A Move On Over Circus Ban Farce

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Comedian Alexei Sayle has joined Animal Defenders International (ADI) in calling for action on wild animal circuses, urging Government “to get a move on” and “bring their own bill in” as a backbench bill to bring in the ban promised, but sat upon by Government, faces its tenth attempt to pass to committee stage.

Incredibly, it is Conservative back benchers who have blocked this bill to pass their Government’s own legislation nine times.

Opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses is overwhelming, with support for the ban uniting Parliament and the public alike. Legislation has now been pledged by Government for three years, with the promised ban due to come into force at the end of this year. ADI is urging David Cameron to keep his word and progress the law.

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “The Government made a clear promise to act on this issue yet three years on we are still waiting for the law to pass. The public and Parliament do not want to see wild animals continuing to suffer in British circuses. David Cameron must keep his word and bring in the ban without delay.”

Social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell joined Alexei Sayle in the plea for action stating he hoped David Cameron “will stop his foot-dragging and bring forward legislation to ensure there are no more wild animals in circuses in Britain” alongside X Factor boyband Fifth Street who said that the ban would “keep the public happy and keep the animals happy.”

Angela Eagle MP today attempted to progress the ban by asking William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, if the Government would give the Circus Bill time for a Second Reading. He responded: “I certainly support that Bill and the Government supports that Bill. I think it would be wrong for the Government to pick bills out of the Private Members’ process and give them Government time… the Bill will have to take it’s normal chances.”

This seems extraordinary double-speak since the bill was promised by the Government over two years ago and is only in the Private Members’ process because the Government has not given it time.

The issue has become an embarrassing Parliamentary saga. The proposed ban on wild animals in circuses was announced by the Government in 2012, although a ban was promised to Parliament as long ago as 2006. In 2010 a Government Public Consultation saw over 90% of respondents calling for a ban and in 2011, backbench bench MPs voted unanimously for the Government to introduce a ban.

The Private Member’s Bill introduced by Jim Fitzpatrick MP is identical to the Government’s own Bill that was unveiled to media fanfare but has simply gathered dust. Unfortunately, an objection from just one MP prevents it from progressing, and tomorrow eyes will be on Tory MP for Christchurch, Christopher Chope, who has blocked the bill on six occasions.

Wales is committed to a ban and is seeking to be included in England’s legislation, but whilst efforts to ban wild animals in circuses are stalling, 30 nations around the world have acted. ADI is currently assisting the Peruvian Government enforce a ban and have 21 lions in their care removed from circuses.

ADI’s campaign to stop circus suffering in Britain is supported by politicians of all parties, leading animal protection groups and celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Dame Judi Dench, Brian Blessed, Twiggy, Eddie Izzard and Sir Roger Moore.

ADI has vowed not to let the matter drop and the backbench bill will have another second reading on Friday 27 February.

News Link:-https://www.looktothestars.org/news/13155-alexei-sayle-tells-government-to-get-a-move-on-over-circus-ban-farce

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/

Law to ban wild animals in UK circuses being blocked by three Tory MPs

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“Seriously, these idiots blocking the ban need to go undercover to see the real truth! What elephant in the wild would stand on its head or lion jump through fire…FFS…Watch the video below…if you love your pets, would you let them be treated this way??? There is no difference, all animals are sentient, they feel most emotions humans do; yet they are treated like inanimate objects. their only use is to perform for entertainment, to earn money for their captors!!”

By  Friday 5 December 2014

UK lags behind Bolivia and Bosnia in banning the use of wild animals, such as lions, tigers, zebras and camels, in travelling circuses

‘The days of transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people are long gone … Britain should join the 21st century.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A new law to ban the use of wild animals in circuses is being repeatedly blocked by a trio of Tory backbenchers, despite the personal support of David Cameron, the government, Labour and over 90% of the British public.

The bill was blocked for the seventh time on Friday afternoon, a move its supporters called a “travesty” and an “outrage”. Dozens of lions, tigers, zebras and camels are still used in travelling circuses and in 2012 the government pledged to outlaw what Cameron called the “outdated practice”. But despitepublishing the draft law in 2013, it has since failed to pass it.

Former environment minister Jim Fitzpatrick, a Labour MP, took the government’s bill and presented it as a private members bill, with support from MPs from all main parties. But it has been repeatedly blocked by circus-supporter Andrew Rosindell, along with Christopher Chope and Philip Davies, all Conservative MPs.

“It is very much a matter of a tiny number of Tory backwoodsmen preventing this from happening,” Fitzpatrick told the Guardian. “It is frustrating, but we are keeping the issue alive – it won’t go away.”

“The days of transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people are long gone,” he said, noting that many nations, from Bosnia to Bolivia, already have bans and that safari parks and zoos provided alternatives. “We think Britain should join the 21st century.”

“For those that think animals are trained with loving hands…WATCH THIS…then tell me; do you really think they enjoy this life????

 Irrespective of  when this undercover video was taken, the principles for any animals still in circuses are the same; fear. neglect, torment & ridicule!!”

(Uploaded on 8 Dec 2008

The Truth About The Treatment of Animals In Circuses Filmed by Animal Defenders International, this video lifts the lid on the use and abuse of animals in entertainment. • the violence used to train and control the animals • the small cages, temporary pens, and chains the animals live and die in • the long journeys • the unnatural conditions • the animals driven out of their minds by boredom and deprivation)

“It is a travesty that the actions of just three MPs are preventing legislation to end animal suffering from being passed,” said Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International. In April, Cameron told ADI: “Yes, we are going to do it.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the government bill would be passed “when parliamentary time allows”. However, the current parliamentary programme has the smallest number of bills for 20 years. Fitzpatrick said there clearly was time and he had “no idea” why ministers will not fulfil their pledge.

The British Veterinary Association backs the ban, stating: “The welfare needs of wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus, in terms of housing or being able to express normal behaviour.” The RSPCA said: “Cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are often unavoidable realities for the animals.”

But Rosindell, who has blocked the bill twice said: “The circus is a Great British institution, which has proved that it has the high standards of welfare which are rightly expected of it, and I strongly believe that it deserves to be defended against the propaganda and exaggerations.”

He added: “None have been taken from their natural habitat; all are from several generations of animals born in captivity. I believe it would be much more cruel to remove them from the life they have always known in living and performing with their loving owners in the environment they are accustomed to.”

Creamer said: “By blocking the bill they are defying not only the wishes of their own party and their constituents, but also the British public and Parliament. There is also clearly time to pass a ban and the government needs to act now.” A 2010 government consultation found 94% of the British public supported a ban on wild animal acts.

Maria Eagle, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said: “The British public will be outraged that, when given the opportunity, a determined group of Tories have repeatedly dug their heels in. The next Labour government will ban wild animals in circuses.”

Fitzpatrick said: “I think a ban on wild animals will come in sooner rather than later, but I have severe reservations about whether we get it in before the election next May.”

News Link:-http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/05/law-to-ban-wild-animals-in-uk-circuses-being-blocked-by-three-tory-mps

GRAPHIC VIDEO: R.I.P… PAWS Says Goodbye To Beloved Asian Elephant Annie.‏

Comments Off on GRAPHIC VIDEO: R.I.P… PAWS Says Goodbye To Beloved Asian Elephant Annie.‏

It is with very heavy hearts that we at PAWS share news of the passing of our dear friend, Asian elephant Annie – best known for her joyous romps in the lake that is part of our Asian elephant habitat at the ARK 2000 sanctuary. She had endured severe arthritis and foot disease, which gradually worsened over many years. After it became clear that the medications and treatments used to treat her chronic conditions were no longer providing relief, she was humanely euthanized on Tuesday, while lying on soft soil and surrounded by those who cared for and loved her. At age 55, she was among the oldest Asian elephants in North America.

“Everyone at PAWS will miss Annie. She was a very special elephant,” said PAWS president Ed Stewart. “I’m proud we were able to give her a peaceful and more natural life at the PAWS sanctuary for nearly 20 years. We restored her dignity and gave her the care and respect she deserved.”

Annie was born in Assam, India, around 1960, and taken from her mother at a very early age for use in the zoo industry. She was immediately put on display in a zoo in Wisconsin, where she spent much of her life chained to a concrete floor.

In 1994, the nation was shocked by videos showing Annie and her companion Tammy being cruelly trained. While held by ropes and chains handlers “broke” the elephants, mercilessly beating them into submission. This was no undercover video; the zoo recorded the training session as instruction for other keepers. (This footage was included in the 2013 HBO documentary, “An Apology to Elephants,” narrated by actress and comedienne – and friend of PAWS – Lily Tomlin.) Under public pressure, the zoo opted to relocate the elephants to PAWS.

Annie arrived at PAWS in 1995, rescued from the Wisconsin zoo with Tammy, who passed away in 2003 at age 52 from chronic foot disease and arthritis – the leading causes of death for elephants in captivity. Despite their great intelligence and size, in captivity elephants are forced to live in small, barren enclosures that cause a multitude of physical and psychological harms. Their social, physical and psychological complexities may make them one of the most deprived of all captive wild animals.

Annie keeps cool in the lake, provided for all the animals; this is as free as any captive animal can be, pure heaven for all!

Annie’s life at the PAWS ARK 2000 sanctuary was far closer to what elephants naturally need. She had a sprawling habitat in which to roam, elephant companions, soft grass to lie down and nap on, and a lake in which she loved to bob, splash and swim. It was always a joy to see Annie enjoying her habitat – something we often shared with you on our Facebook page and on Youtube.

Over the years, Annie experienced a variety of health problems, including an injury caused by a bull elephant during forced mating. Her arthritis and foot problems had progressed, including a severe foot abscess. In 2012, Annie tested positive for tuberculosis, but never exhibited symptoms of the disease. Her general condition remained good, including normal appetite and weight, but Annie’s arthritis and foot disease ultimately made movement unbearably painful for her. Tuberculosis has been diagnosed in many elephants used for circuses and to give rides, and in zoos such as the Oregon Zoo and St. Louis Zoo.

It is a sad fact that by the time most elephants come to PAWS they are suffering the debilitating effects of a life spent in inadequate captive conditions. Annie was no exception. Had she remained in her native home, she likely would have been leading a full and enriched life today, surrounded by a family of her own.

“Our job at PAWS is to restore dignity to captive elephants and, for elephants like Annie and Tammy, give them a life free from beatings and chains,” explained Ed. “We did our best for them, and continue to make a significant difference in the lives of all the elephants and other wild animals under our care.”

As is customary for all elephants that pass away at PAWS, a necropsy is being performed on Annie’s remains by pathologists from U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and tissue samples sent to a laboratory.

PAWS thanks everyone who has ever cared about and supported Annie and helped give her – and all of the wild animals at PAWS – a life of dignity, serenity, and love. On behalf of Annie and everyone at PAWS, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts
“This next video shows pure brute strength by keepers to make Annie lay down. Watch closely & see how the bull hook is gouged into her skin to make her first lay down, then stand; Annie cries out in pain as she is manhandled, she could easily have harmed her trainers, but she didn’t. Now, listen very closely as the keepers talk about how to get her to lay down, near a diagram, around 5.29..(I can hear what sounds like an electrical shock prod) …I bet they were using it on Annie…vile acts of cruelty; just for the publics entertainment!! Annie must have thought she was in heaven when she was moved to PAWS; she finally had some freedom to behave like an elephant should, larking about in the lake & making friends with other free elephants,. I’m so grateful to PAWS for giving Annie her freedom & final home, her final resting place of peace, tranquility & compassion…God bless her soul!”

1989: Zoo training tape of Annie.

Warning: Contains graphic images that are hard to watch.

Uploaded on 5 Oct 2011

Asian elephant Annie, and her close companion Tamara, shared an elephant barn/enclosure at the Milwaukee Zoo until 1994, when videotaped recordings of cruel beatings and abusive training elicited public demands that the two elephants be sent to the PAWS sanctuary. Today Annie (Tamara died in 2002) spends her days roaming and grazing among the trees, swimming in the lake, dusting and mud-bathing before lying down to sleep on a sunny hillside.

The archaic management of elephants by zoos that have been using the Free Contact system, has been the focus of controversy between AZA and animal welfare organizations, as well as many zoo professionals who advocate the use of Protected Contact management, a safer and kinder approach to elephant management.

Free Contact allows elephant keepers and handlers to share the same space with the elephant while using the cruel weapon known as the bullhook, the ankus, or the “guide”, to control the animal and to protect the handler. This system has caused injury and death to keepers and considerable suffering to elephants. Protected Contact requires that keepers work with the animal behind barriers and eliminates the use of any weapon or punishment for the elephant. It is a system that ensures the safety of the keeper and the welfare and comfort of the elephant.

In August of this year, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) board of directors has approved new standards that will maximize occupational safety of elephant care professionals at AZA-accredited and AZA-certified facilities. The recent release of this new policy by AZA is a giant first step toward maximizing the physical and psychological health of the elephants as well.

The Elephant Manager’s Association opposes these new standards. In a recent statement, EMA wrote: “It is the opinion of the EMA that evaluations and decisions of this sort are best made by elephant care professionals intimately involved in the program as opposed to policy makers that casually observe from a distance.”

PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606

www.pawsweb.org

 “TORTURE CHAMBER…JUST THINK ON, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE AN ELEPHANT IN A CIRCUS OR EVEN A ZOO…THIS IS HOW THEY WERE FIRST SNATCHED FROM THEIR MOTHERS IN THE WILD; THEN TORTURED, SO THEY WOULD ACCEPT THE COMMANDS OF HUMANS; FOR THE SOUL PURPOSE OF ENTERTAINING HUMANS…HORRIFIC!!”

 VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED…BUT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW ELEPHANTS SPIRITS ARE BROKEN SO HUMANS CAN USE THEM…PLEASE WATCH!!

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!

Edwin Wiek of the WFFT and Khun Lek (Sangduan Chailert) of ENP are now targeted by the DNP for speaking up about the illegal wild elephant poaching and trade. This video shows what the DNP doesn’t want you to see or know about!

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