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/

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BATTLEFRONT DIES ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE GRAND NATIONAL MEETING

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“OMG…the dreaded day is ahead…& it’s started already, one horse dead, although that was through a heart attack, so one has to question, why was he racing in the first place? was it just about MONEY!!!”

“Please if you love animals, especially horses, don’t back on the cruelty! These horses may well be very well cared for but at what cost? their life, in one race! I am dreading the Grand National & would ask everyone to pray that all horses finish the course & get to go home without any incident!”

“The spokes people at the Grand National have to mention a horse that has gone down, because it’s live TV. But you don’t hear them mentioning the ones that have gone back to their stables & died of heart attacks like Battlfront R.I.P or other horses who have burst pulmonary arteries etc.” 

The Grand National course, which has undergone what have been described as major safety improvements, claimed an equine victim today (4 April), when 11-year-old Battlefront collapsed and died with a suspected heart attack.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/04/04/article-2304044-1917423A000005DC-297_634x371.jpg

He was being ridden by Katie Walsh, who earlier this week triggered controversy when she seemed to trivialise the deaths of horses on racecourses (‘these things happen, and they’re horses at the end of the day’), and claimed that race horses are looked after ‘better than some children’.

Battlefront had been racing in the 3.40 Foxhunters’ Chase, which is run over 18 fences on the Grand National course. Walsh pulled him up when he appeared to become distressed after jumping the challenging Valentine’s Brook.

He had been carrying an exceptionally heavy weight of 12 stone. Twenty-three other horses were entered into the 2m 5f event. It has been reported that four of them fell, another was brought down, several were pulled up and just 14 of the 24 finished.

Battlefront is the 23rd horse to have died on the Grand National course since 2000 – eleven of them having perished in the big race itself.

report published by Animal Aid last month identified Aintree as the country’s most lethal racecourse for horses when deaths are calculated in relation to the number of days’ racing.

Says Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid:

‘The Aintree authorities and the British Horseracing Authority have been claiming that major new safety measures and efficiencies would eliminate much of the risk associated with racing on the Grand National course. But today’s Foxhunters’ Chase, in which Battlefront lost his life, was stomach-wrenchingly chaotic from start to finish. Several horses fell or were pulled up, tired and potentially injured. It was both utterly depressing and served as confirmation that the Aintree authorities have got it badly wrong once again.’

For more information:Contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546.

News Link:-http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_horse//2860//

The Grand National meeting at Aintree suffered its first fatality on day one this afternoon as Battlefront collapsed and died after the 3.40 John Smith’s Fox Hunters‘ Chase.

The horse, ridden by Katie Walsh, was pulled up at the 11th fence of the 2m 5f chase, which was won by 100/1 long shot Tartan Snow.

Unfortunately 11-year-old Battlefront, trained by the jockey’s father Ted, then suffered a suspected heart attack on the way back to the stables and died.

Professor Chris Proudman, veterinary advisor to Aintree Racecourse, confirmed the news, saying: ‘We can confirm that Battlefront was pulled up at fence 11 of the John Smith’s Fox Hunter’s Chase on the Grand National course by his jockey Katie Walsh and sadly afterwards he collapsed and died.

News Link:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2304044/Battlefront-dies-Grand-National-meeting-day-one.html#ixzz2PVz6zhvu

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Changes to the fence course:- WHW…Video

Working towards a safer Grand National


Published on 4 Apr 2013

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, discusses the changes being made by Aintree Racecourse to the Grand National 2013 fences and course, including the new fence cores. 

Find out more about World Horse Welfare’s work with sport regulators; http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/sport

Just a few of the many petitions to sign:-

VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES,VIDEO:Exposed: How terrified horses were beaten and abused by sick slaughtermen

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“As a horse owner I don’t think I have to say much; this is very distressing for me to post! However, people need to know, believe me, I’m writing this through tears…but the public have to know what happens in these horrific kill places. I have said before & will say again, if captive bolt guns are used, they are inadequate at making equine’s unconscious  The bolt gun was meant for & is used for bovine’s…a horses skull & brain is set further back; therefore the bolt gun does not have the same effect it does on bovine’s..which means the horse regains consciousness very quickly.!”

“It is also not just the old, sick retired that end up at these evil places…kill buyers look for horses that are healthy & have a good weight on them, those are the horses they get most money per pound for! In all my years of owning horses I have never once sent or let any of my horses go to an auction house; because that is where kill buyers lurk. Being disabled from a riding accident obviously means I can’t ride, & lately not even see my horses, due to pain (they are well cared for & spoilt at a livery yard). But hell will freeze over before I let them go to auction…if you truly love your horse or any animal, you don’t let them go to places like this! When the time comes that my horse has to go, I will move mountains & get there somehow! My face will be the last thing she see’s, my voice the last thing she hears; before crossing Rainbow Bridge!”

One horrific image shows a distressed horse come round from being stunned only to find itself hanged upside down ready to be bled

horse wakes up after being stunned

Two slaughtermen have been sacked after shocking footage exposed horses being abused at an abattoir.

The video nasty caught by hidden cameras shows the animals being beaten with a metal rod and crammed into pens together before being slaughtered.

One horrific image shows a distressed horse appearing to come round from being stunned only to find itself hanged upside down ready to be bled.

Ex-Chief Veterinary Officer Keith Meldrum described it as “completely unacceptable.”

The cruelty was filmed at Red Lion Abattoir, near Nantwich, Cheshire, during a Sky News investigation prompted by concerns raised by animal welfare campaign group Hillside.

Some horses were crammed into slaughter pens in pairs and at one point in a group of three before being stunned together.

Experts said this was against the law.

Hanging on: Horse tries to wriggle free

Under The Welfare of Animals Act 1995, horses cannot be slaughtered in sight of any other horse because it causes them severe distress.

Separately, some injured or sick horses appeared to be left by staff to suffer overnight, rather than being put down immediately.

Last night the Food Standards Agency said it revoked the licences of two slaughtermen after a probe into the video.

FSA head of approvals Craig Kirby said: “As soon as we got the footage and reviewed it we took immediate action to revoke the slaughtermen’s licences.

“That means they cannot work to slaughter animals again. “We will also look to gather further evidence to see if we can prosecute.”

Mr Meldrum yesterday described his shock at what he described as “appalling” animal welfare breaches. He said: “We see three animals stunned at the same time and it is totally illegal and contrary to welfare slaughter regulations.

It’s a significant welfare problem for a number of reasons. It’s harder to render them unconscious in a group and they have a higher chance of regaining consciousness before you’ve completed the procedure.”

The number of horses being slaughtered in the UK has more than doubled in the past five years. FSA figures show 8,426 were put down in 2012, compared to 3,859 in 2007. Horses are sent to the abattoir when they are old, sick, injured or retired.

The shocking footage, to be shown on Sky News today, comes just days after it emerged horse meat had been found in beefburgers being sold across the UK.

Roly Owers, head of World Horse Welfare, said: “The breaches, from what we’ve seen, are throughout – from the care of the animals to the slaughter process.

“Horses are intelligent animals. When they see an animal stunned in front of them, you can only imagine the distress that animal is going through. “There are, without doubt, welfare issues here. It is plain illegal.”

John Watson, of Hillside, said: “It blows away the myth of humane slaughter. There is a misery in that place that is palpable.”

In response, a Red Lion spokesman said: “The incidents, whilst captured on limited filming are not the norm but that of an isolated nature.

“The management view animal welfare and public health with paramount importance.

“Decisive disciplinary action has been taken.”

News Link:-http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/terrified-horses-beaten-and-killed-by-sick-1544633

Footage shows stunned horse waking up just before it is about to have its throat cut

Published on 19 Jan 2013

Horse Abattoir Film Reveals Cruelty & Animal Welfare Breaches in UK – 19 January 2013

Slaughtermen have their licence revoked after campaigners’ secret film exposes breaches of the Animal Welfare Act

Sky News has uncovered shocking animal welfare conditions at a UK horse abattoir.

They include animals being beaten, neglected and illegal procedures in the process of slaughtering British horses destined for European food markets.

It comes amid public anger that some of our biggest supermarkets have been selling beef burgers and other products that contained horse meat

Red Lion Abattoir near Nantwich in Cheshire

Circuses Blow Their Top At Lion Licensing Plan

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“The Government have promised to enforce a ban, then used an Austrian case as a get out clause…it’s stupid there is absolutely nothing stopping the UK Government from implementing a ban apart from their own stupid red herrings. It’s costing a fortune for the licence system when it would have cost nothing had they just used the amended Animal & Welfare Act to implement a ban.

“I’ve already done a lot of work regarding a ban, now it’s just getting F-ing ridiculous, makes me not proud to live in a Country that will probably be the last in the worl, to ban wild animals in circuses; when it should have been the first, as they have had years worth of undercover video to prove the beatings etc. I’m overwhelmed & shock at their disrespect for the majority of British public & back bench Ministers who want a ban on wild animals in circuses”

Owners say proposal is ‘disrespectful’ and could drive them out of business“Good”

A plan to force circuses to license all their lions, tigers and elephants – thrashed out after the Government shelved an outright ban on performing wild animals – could still drive many circuses out of business, owners have warned.

Circus representatives told ministers the compromise was “disrespectful”, imposed unreasonable costs and would stop them hitting animals to control and train them. Notes from a secret meeting between the sides, obtained by The Independent on Sunday, show that circuses were also angered by a government press statement headed “Animals deserve our respect”.

Animal-rights activists insisted the documents confirmed their “long-held concerns about the welfare of wild animals in circuses”.

The official report of the meeting, between senior figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, three circuses, the Performing Animals Welfare Standards International and the Classical Circus Association, said the costs to circuses were too high and “unreasonable”, given that a ban was still possible, and that the costs should be absorbed by the Government.

The document also reported that the circus delegates had complained that “no hitting at all ignores various circumstances (such as breaking up fights)”, and thatkeeping animals in exercise areas overnight [was] not possible or safe”. “Exactly, they are wild animals & should not be used for entertainment, if i was poked & prodded I would get pretty upset & want to plant someone…in the animals case…perhaps take off a leg or arm!!”

It added: “Animals have to be chained so that keepers can sleep. Tethers (chain or otherwise) are not only appropriate but vital. Elephants will sleep for five to ten hours every day as a minimum – [keepers] can’t sit and guard them for that time.”Well God forbid the keepers don’t get any sleep…F-ing stupid response”

One delegate, who asked not to be named, said: “We put forward constructive proposals, but there was no movement. They are asking us to pay to be licensed for three years and then banned at the end of it.”Why shouldn’t they pay?? Christ I have to pay a TV Licence to watch TV, along millions of other people…its all looking like like the circuses are only interested in the money they will lose, not the welfare of their animals…which should be the case!”

But Will Travers, chief executive of the Born Free Foundation, said the document showed that circuses “clearly want to continue to be able to hit animals under certain circumstances, to chain animals overnight and keep [them] in tiny spaces”. “That sums up a circus quite nicely Will, thanks!”

MPs called for a blanket ban last year, after well-publicised cases of animal cruelty in British circuses, but the Government initially opposed the move, fearing lawsuits from disgruntled owners. Robin Hargreaves, the president-elect of the British Veterinary Association, said: “The BVA has strongly supported a ban because we believe the welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within the environment of a travelling circus.” “If vets say the welfare of animals can’t be met, then they can’t be met, time to say bye bye to circuses. If only the public would stop going, I really can’t understand how, after all the documented brutality to the animals…that public still want to go!”

Martin Burton, owner of Zippo’s Circus – which does not use wild animals – said: “There are animal rights activists who lie and cheat and cause harm, but it is the circuses that the Government comes after.” Well of course a circus owner is going to say that..but pictures or video can only show & tell the truth!” 

News Link:-http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/circuses-blow-their-top-at-lion-licensing-plan-8326458.html

“Take a look at how animals are treated, then ask yourself whether it is fair to support the cruelty they face on a daily basis?”

Uploaded by  on 5 Dec 2006

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

“There is only one sure fire way of stopping animals from being beaten in circuses around the world…

THAT’S FOR THE PUBLIC TO STOP GOING…IT’S IN YOUR HANDS …SO BLOODY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT…TAKING A CHILD TO A CIRCUS WILL ONLY TEACH THEM THAT IT’S OK FOR WILD ANIMALS OR ANY OTHER ANIMALS TO LIVE LIKE THAT…TAKE THEM TO A WELL A WILD LIFE SANCTUARY – THEY WILL LEARN MUCH MORE ABOUT THE ANIMALS THERE, PROMISE!!!

 

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