City Council Vote Means Circus Animals Still Welcome In Worcester

Comments Off on City Council Vote Means Circus Animals Still Welcome In Worcester

“We have seen far too many undercover investigations, showing animals being beaten, slapped or whipped, even struck with electric cattle prods; to know that an animal’s life in the circus is not a good one. Animals do not belong in cages or shackled when not performing! They are forced to entertain the public by doing unnatural & stupid tricks, that can be detrimental to their health! Human safety is also an issue, when animals can’t take it any more & attack! There are plenty videos on YouTube showing trainers being mauled by big cats in the ring & elephants that have trampled their handlers, then charged the crowds looking for a way out; which sadly ends in tragic fatalities for the public & animal!! I personally think NO animal on earth should be forced to entertain humans for monetary gain…it’s wrong & immoral!!”

Also read another post I have added toward the end:- CAPS welcomes Scottish consultation on wild animals in circuses’.

“Please sign just a few of the many petitions to ban wildlife in circuses: at the end of this post or on the Petition Tab above. If you’re in any doubt as to how elephants are trained; watch the video & share it, education is the key; what we share, will make more care!!

By Nick Kotsopoulos 04/02/2014

WORCESTER — The circus, complete with its lions, tigers and elephants, is still welcome in this city. 

Don't Support Circus Cruelty

The City Council Tuesday night rejected a call for the drafting of an ordinance that would have banned the use of wild and exotic animals in travelling shows and circuses that perform here. The vote was 8-3, with Councilor-at-Large Konstantina B. Lukes, District 2 Councilor Philip P. Palmieri and District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera voting in opposition.

Mrs. Lukes, who advocated for the ban as the past chairman of the council’s Public Health and Human Services Committee, said the intent of her order was not to ban circuses in the city, but rather to ban the use of animals that are subject to extinction, such as elephants.

She said circuses exploit such animals for profit and she believes it is “time to right a wrong” by banning their use in circuses that come here. 

But Councillor-at-Large Michael T. Gaffney, who pushed to have a council vote taken on the matter after it had been tabled last month, said the proposal was not just about banning elephants in circuses.

He said he believes that animal-rights advocates would eventually move to have animals banned in other things, such as petting zoos. 

“This is the first step of saying we shouldn’t have animals period,” Mr. Gaffney said. 

Meanwhile, District 5 Councillor Gary Rosen argued it was time for the council to put the issue to rest.

He said the council had become mired down talking about whether it should ban a legal business such as a circus at a time when it has so many other important issues requiring its attention.

Mr. Rosen said if people object to wild and exotic animals performing at circuses held in the city, then they simply shouldn’t go to them. (What a knob head!!!)

“What are we doing even talking about this?” Mr. Rosen asked. “I think we’re foolish to be talking about banning a legal business from coming to Worcester. If people have a problem with the circus, then they should stay away, but they shouldn’t tell others they can’t go.” 

Last year, the City Council Public Health and Human Services Committee asked the Law Department to review a model ordinance drafted by Born Free USA, a national animal advocacy group. 

ele1

As part of its recommendation, the committee has also asked the city administration to draft an ordinance along the lines of the model ordinance that would keep out circuses and travelling shows that feature elephants, tigers, lions and chimpanzees. 

At the request of Mayor Joseph M. Petty, the council tabled the proposal until it received a report from the city administration on the impact of such a ban.

In a report that went before the council Tuesday night, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said the proposal raises a number of concerns, including legal issues since it would ban an activity permitted by state and federal law.

City Solicitor David M. Moore said it is his opinion that any municipal ordinance prohibiting the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses staged in the city would be “invalidated” as pre-empted by federal and state law. 

He said it would also trigger contractual issues between the city and SMG the company that manages the city-owned DCU Center (The DCU Center is an indoor arena and convention center complex, located in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts, USA).

SMG reports that the circus has an economic impact of $1.5 million during those years it comes to the DCU Center.

That economic impact includes ticket revenue, concessions, merchandise and parking for the approximately 20,000 people who attend the circus shows at the DCU Center.

Ms. Rivera said if Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was not allowed to come back to the city, she believes that families would spend their entertainment dollars elsewhere in the community.

“That money will be spent in the local economy whether the circus is in town or not,” she said. “Families will find a place to take their children. Putting dollars to such (animal) cruelty; we have to ask ourselves what kind of a community we are? This is a serious issue and something we need to consider.” 

News Link:-http://www.telegram.com/article/20140204/NEWS/302049735/1116

Please note the above images are not connected in any way to this news post!

More News On Circuses:

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014  CAPS welcomes Scottish consultation on wild animals in circuses

Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that the Scottish Government has opened a new consultation to gauge public opinion on the use of wild animals in circuses. A CAPS spokesperson welcomed the news, saying “this presents us with an opportunity to move a step closer to a UK-wide ban on the cruel practice of exploiting wild animals in the circus ring”.

England has already promised to bring in a ban, and Wales has also shown willing to do the same. CAPS has worked with campaign partners for many years to encourage Scotland to follow suit, with a full public consultation forming the first step in that process.

Said Liz Tyson, CAPS Director:

“We encourage our Scottish supporters to get involved in the process and join us in calling for an outright ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland. These measures are long overdue and this is the opportunity for compassionate members of the public to make a difference”.

CAPS has presented evidence to the Scottish Government in recent years on this issue and will be putting together a detailed response to the consultation and working with campaign partners towards a ban

The consultation closes on the 16th April and all relevant information can be found by visiting this websitehttp://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/AnimalWelfare/Circuses

Please help to support our vital work for animals by making a donation today. Thank you!

News Link:http://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2014/01/caps-welcomes-scottish-consultation-on-wild-animals-in-circuses/

“Don’t support the cruelty! See how elephants are really trained to perform tricks; then tell everyone”.

Ringling Bros. Circus is NO FUN FOR ELEPHANTS! – End The Elephant Tragedy America!

http://breakthechainus.com/
Animals in the circus have not been asked to be there. They are stolen from the wild, babies ripped from their mothers and beaten into submission to perform. Elephants live a majority of their lives in chains. Tigers are crammed in into tiny cages for months on end. This atrocity must end now and we are putting a stop to it. But we can’t succeed without you!
http://www.ad-international.org/adi_u…

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Why Arguments For Killing Of Giraffe Marius Don’t Stand Up To Scrutiny

Comments Off on GRAPHIC VIDEO: Why Arguments For Killing Of Giraffe Marius Don’t Stand Up To Scrutiny

“WTF…they didn’t have to kill  him, Marius was offered various homes & even a business man was willing to pay thousands to save the giraffe! It seems it’s rules for one & rules for another in the EAZA operation! If they can’t or don’t want an animal that doesn’t fit their requirements, they should have a system in place whereby the un-wanted animal can always be offered an alternative home; if they can’t manage that…then perhaps they shouldn’t be breeding animals at all!!

Thanks to my dear friend on twitter.com/9marbar9 for heads up on these. Please sign:

  1. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/666/714/094/boycott-zoosrevenge-for-marius/
  2. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/142/274/832/they-killed-marius/#next_action

Editor’s note: Liz Tyson is Director of UK charity, The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS). She previously lived and worked in the Colombian Amazon on conservation projects. She is a board member of conservation charity Neotropical Primate Conservation and a doctoral researcher at the University of Essex, School of Law. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely hers.

Liz Tyson

(CNN) — The killing of a young giraffe named Marius at Copenhagen Zoo sparked international outrage this weekend. On Sunday, he was shot with a bolt gun then publicly dissected before being fed to the lions.

In its defence, the zoo has argued that Marius’ death was necessary to protect the genetic diversity of his species. It was claimed that to allow Marius to take up space that could be used to house another animal with more desirable genetic make-up may hinder conservation breeding programs.

Contraception which required sedation is dangerous and giraffes might die during the procedure. As such, Marius’ birth could not have been safely prevented. Marius could not be re-homed because sending him somewhere other than a zoo which was a member of the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) could result in him being sold into a circus, which would be against EAZA rules. In effect, the zoo’s hands were tied, it was implied.

None of these arguments appear to stand up to scrutiny.

As the head of the European endangered species program for giraffes stated in press, Marius was not from a rare sub-species.

Given that zoos claim that animals are kept in order to support the conservation of threatened species, it is therefore unclear why any member of Marius’ subspecies should be held captive at all.

Zoo staff get death threats

It was further confirmed that a contraceptive for giraffes has been developed in the last few years which allows females to be safely injected at a distance thus suggesting that Marius’ birth was not inevitable.

The director of EAZA supported the stance that Marius had to die and encouraged people to consider the “bigger picture.” But EAZA itself is less than consistent in its approach to inbreeding and, indeed, in its concern for the ultimate fate of animals in its member zoos.

EAZA and similar zoo bodies discourage member zoos from deliberately breeding white lions; a practice which is recognized as involving inbreeding in order to perpetuate the unusual white colouring of the animals involved.

Due to the serious welfare implications and the lack of conservation value of inbred animals, breeding of white lions is theoretically not allowed in EAZA zoos. In practice, both West Midland Safari Park and Paradise Wildlife Park in the UK breed white lions.

Both are EAZA members and yet, despite vociferously supporting the killing of Marius to prevent the same problem, a blind eye has been turned by EAZA to the persistent inbreeding of other species in its zoos. White lions are, perhaps tellingly, a great crowd pleaser.

In 2012 West Midland Safari Park were revealed to have sent four white lions to a circus trainer, who sent them on to a Japanese circus. That the safari park remains an EAZA member means that the rules on sending animals to non-EAZA collections are not consistently applied. Despite this, no exception was made for Marius.

In fact, rather than Marius being a tragic exception, the killing of animals considered to be surplus to requirements by zoos is something which is common in the industry. A 2003 study suggested that there are around 7,500 animals deemed “surplus” in European zoos at any one time.

Whilst it cannot be undone, Marius’ death has served an important purpose in shining a spotlight on a practice which is normally kept well-hidden from public view. As long as there are zoos, there will be unwanted animals. And as long as there are unwanted animals, more like Marius will be killed.

It has long been recognised that conservation success is achieved not in city centre zoos or safari parks, but in natural habitats. We would urge anyone with a passion for conservation to support effective in situ efforts which are truly making a positive impact on species conservation.

Viewer Discrestion Advised – Danish Zoo criticized for killing giraffe

Published on 10 Feb 2014

CNN’s Fred Pleitgen on why thousands are angry after a zoo in Copenhagen culled a healthy giraffe.

READ: Why Copenhagen zoo was right to cull giraffe

READ: Danish zoo kills healthy giraffe, feeds body to lions

READ: Marius the giraffe: Copenhagen zoo staff get death threats

News Link:http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/10/opinion/giraffe-culling-against/

UPDATE: Circus Malta: Petition Supporting Animal Circuses Gains 5,000 Signatures

Comments Off on UPDATE: Circus Malta: Petition Supporting Animal Circuses Gains 5,000 Signatures

Thursday 9 January 2014

Most animal charities & the public want to see a ban worldwide of wild animals being used in circuses. Now the owner of this circus is circulating his own petition to keep his Malta circus open. So please if you don’t agree with animals performing degrading tricks, kept behind bars & of course the cruelty that has been documented in circuses: PLEASE SIGN THE PETITIONS BELOW. We can’t let this circus continue, if it does through its petition, the flood gates for circuses using wild animals may open again; that would be tragic after all the hard work has been done to stop them!!

Circus promoter says 2013 could be last year for animal circuses in Malta due to the proposed ban.

But circus promoter Silvio Zammit has collected 5,000 signatures as part of a petition to overturn a proposal to ban animal circuses.

The circus has now moved to Ghajnsielem, Gozo, where Zammit hopes to continue collecting more signatures. The petition will then be passed on to the competent authorities.

Zammit, who has been bringing circuses to Malta for the past 16 years, said he could not allow the banning of animal circuses from Malta without taking any action.

“It was a personal initiative after finding out that the government had moved on to publish a White Paper proposing to ban animal circuses,” he said.

See all the animals, such as, Long horn cattle, Donkeys, Lama, Camels, Lions, Tigers, Zebra, Elephant, Giraffe, Baboon, Horses, Ponies, Donkeys performing pitiful & degrading acts; acts they would never do in the wild. The animal acts stop at 12 mins; then the human artists perform!I believe the only thing not seen is the Hippo; but is in a video below!!

Circo Orfei Floriana Malta 1st January 2012

Uploaded on 2 Jan 2012 – By levelone12

He argued that only 390 persons took part in the consultation process initiated by the government, of which 49% said they were against such a circus.

“We know that the majority of these were NGOs, and NGOs do not reflect popular opinion. I am doing this petition on my own. I know that there are many others who would like to sign it, but I have neither the time nor the manpower to go on a nation-wide petition,” Zammit said.

He said he was “very happy” with the number of signatures collected: “This shows that the Maltese do love the circus. They won’t flood the streets of Valletta with placards to support the circus.”

He also said that a number of MPs from both sides of the House visited Circo Orfei this winter. “Some came with their children while others accompanied their grandchildren. They thanked me for the level of the show and all said they had fun,” Zammit said.

He however refused to name them.

The debate as to whether Malta should ban animal circuses for good has been going on for a number of years, with animal rights NGOs insisting that circuses solely operate to maximise profits while completely disregarding the safety of the animals and the adverse effects they may impose.

Animal Rights Coalition said veterinarians only attend to the animal’s physical needs and as a result, the psychological issues brought about by the circuses are not being addressed.

With a number of countries moving to ban animal circuses for good, Zammit said in Italy alone there were 800 circuses. He said the UK was one of the countries which will stop animal circuses as from next year. “But this was the result of many circuses caught mistreating their animals,” he said, adding that the circus he brought to Malta did not see animals performing any tricks and only a minimal part of the show was dedicated to animals.My pic4

Zammit argued that the circus animals were born in captivity “and therefore they do not know otherwise. Their trainers threat them like their pets”.

He said Animal Welfare Department officials and veterinarians made regular checks to verify that the animals were well-kept.

Circo Orfei’s travelling team is made up of 60 people, whose living depends on the shows, Zammit said.

“This is their life. They are a community who live on the road and have been doing so for years on end. This is how they earn a living… their bread and butter,” he said.

The Animal Rights Coalition has also called for a full ban on dolphinaria and aquaria. The coalition has said it was unjust to deny dolphins the right to roam free in their natural habitat and called for the ban on dolphinariums as these restrict the creatures to a mere pool.

The Coalition also said that this should extend to aquaria as in this case, animals are likewise being “confined to cages and restricted from roaming in their natural habitat”.

Protesters outside circus. Image from http://www.timesofmalta.com

But Zammit feels that two weights and two measures were being applied when talking about animal circuses and aquaria.

He also said that circuses gave people the opportunity to see animals which would otherwise require them to travel abroad to zoos or safaris.

He insisted that a proper discussion was required and said he agreed that animals like elephants, pandas and monkeys should be banned. “What we have in our circus are horses, ponies, donkeys and tigers,” he said, adding that tigers in captivity lived for an average of 25 years while those in the wild lived for 12 years.

Circo Orfei also has a hippo and an emu as part of their travelling repertoire. 

News Link:http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/national/Petition-supporting-animal-circuses-gains-5-000-signatures-20140108

Petitions to ban wild animals in circuses:-We must get the ban in place before this circus succeeds with their petition to continue

Published on 7 Jan 2013 – This video shows the hippo in the ring, but its towards the end of the video, after the trapeze act! What the hell is a hippo doing in a circus? Bloody outrageous!! Search Circo Orfei on You Tube to see all the animals when not entertaining  :-http://youtu.be/GEMx3YVIRmg 

Published on 10 Jan 2013 – Tiger & Lion Act:-http://youtu.be/aHeMPaW_d20

Published on 6 Sep 2013 – This is about the lions & tigers in the outside enclosure plus RARE WHITE LIONS & TIGERS?? Are they interbreeding??:-http://youtu.be/K40RjOFsX4c

My previous posts on circus in Malta etc.:

THE FINAL CURTAIN: UK Government Announces 2015 Ban On wild Animals In Circuses In England

Comments Off on THE FINAL CURTAIN: UK Government Announces 2015 Ban On wild Animals In Circuses In England

“At last, the big top is falling…but I wish it applied to all animals.  All animals in circuses are deprived of their basic needs to exercise, roam, socialize, forage, and play. Horses will still be  forced to perform confusing and physically challenging tricks. Former Ringling animal crew employees contacted PETA & reported that horses are grabbed by the throat, stabbed with pitchforks, punched in the face, given painful “lip twists,” and whipped. All animals feel pain, fear, loneliness, stress etc. So why ban one & not the other?? Or am I asking too much? I am very happy that wild animals will finally be banned; but I would have felt a lot happier had it been a ban on all animals performing in circuses!”

UK Government announces 2015 ban on wild animals in travelling circuses in England 

Today, draft legislation was announced that would see it become an offence to use wild animals in travelling circuses in England from 2015.

baby ele1touched up

The Born Free Foundation has worked consistently for an end to the use of wild animals in circuses since its inception in 1984. Foundation representatives participated in the first Circus Working Group in the mid-1990s, and the second in 2004. Over the years Born Free has seen many lows, and precious few highs. Yet, throughout, the message has been the same: a travelling circus simply cannot meet the needs of wild animals.

Virginia McKenna OBE, Founder of the Born Free Foundation, said: “It has taken a long time – too long – but at last the end is in sight. I know for many, many people this will be a reason to rejoice. I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make a ban a reality, including Parliamentarians of all Parties. Victories for common-sense and compassion are all too rare. “

It is disappointing that it has taken this long to get to this stage, given that the recent initiative to ban originated in discussions that took place prior to the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Nonetheless, the draft legislation should be welcomed as finally reflecting public, Parliamentary and expert opinion.

Born Free remains committed to supporting the enactment of similar legislation in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and for an end to the use of wild animals in circuses worldwide.

Will Travers OBE, the Foundation’s CEO, commented: “I hardly dared imagine we would see such a day when, year after year, meeting after meeting, the NGOs participating in the various Circus Working Groups churned through the evidence, debated the practicalities, fought against Defra’s institutional inertia and Government opposition to a ban. Our supporters have been amazing as have our colleagues in other organisations. One more form of wild animal exploitation is on its way out.”

It would not have been possible to achieve this without the support of campaign partners the RSPCA, CAPS and the BVA, and without the help of Born Free supporters. The work of the Zoo Check team is central to the work of the Foundation, and they work tirelessly to protect animals in zoos, circuses, as pets and in the tourist trade around the world.

Anne Elephant in England Abused By Groom. Owners were charged

Anne The Elephant, Abused in Great British Circus By Groom. Owners were charged

If you would like to help support the Foundation’s work on captive animal welfare, please consider becoming a member of the Born Free Foundation or making a donation: www.bornfree.org.uk/give

News Link:http://www.bornfree.org.uk/index.php?id=34&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1294&cHash=65344dfb5e3eb3050faa966a39c7b845&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BornFreeNews+%28Born+Free%3A+Latest+News%29

CIRCUS INSPECTION REPORTS FINALLY RELEASED

Comments Off on CIRCUS INSPECTION REPORTS FINALLY RELEASED

Animal protection charities’ urgent call to Government to rethink plans following release of withheld circus inspection report.

As Government considers plans to license circuses with wild animals in England, the release of a previously withheld inspection report highlights serious welfare concerns for animals and flaws in regulatory proposals.

One of Britain’s last travelling circuses with wild animals has taken the step of publishing the results of inspections of its premises undertaken as part of a Government-led “feasibility study” in 2008, following a decision that the information should be made available in the public domain.

The Great British Circus, which travels with tigers, lions, reindeer and camels, released the report following almost four years of refusal by both the circus itself and central government to disclose the findings. Animal protection organisations including the Born Free Foundation and the Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) today expressed their alarm at the problems found, which included:

  • Big cats housed in touring ”beast wagons”, even while at winter quarters.
  • “Exercise cages” for big cats found to be smaller than would be acceptable in a zoo.
  • Big cats giving birth on tour, despite concerns over inadequate provisions for new mothers and young
  • Camels and reindeer denied access to fields and pasture during the winter period
  • Rabbits housed in poor quality, tiered accommodation.
  • Living environments insufficient for the expression normal behaviours. Zebras housed separately and a kangaroo housed alone did not give the animals the opportunity for normal social interaction.
  • Insufficient animal records.

Born Free and CAPS are particularly concerned by these latest revelations since Government had recently indicated that circus inspections had not thrown up anything untoward. Indeed, the official Defra Impact Assessment, carried out as part of the recent Government consultation on licensing proposals, had indicated that circuses would need to make only minor improvements in order to meet the proposed standards.

Said Liz Tyson, Director of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society:

“The welfare concerns highlighted were numerous and varied; with tigers giving birth whilst on tour, individual animals being kept in solitary confinement for months on end and grazing animals being given no access to fields or pasture throughout the winter.  On a number of occasions, the inspectors noted that standards witnessed would not be deemed acceptable in zoos. It really begs the question: How can Government justify its pursuit of a complex and expensive licensing system – even a temporary one – that will legitimise this archaic and unethical practice?”

Although significant animal welfare concerns were identified, the reports themselves also gave cause for concern:

Read more:-http://www.bornfree.org.uk/index.php?id=34&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1049&cHash=e23f66b915&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BornFreeNews+%28Born+Free%3A+Latest+News%29

Circus boss hits back and says his tigers are part of family

Comments Off on Circus boss hits back and says his tigers are part of family

THE director of a circus which has performed in the Tamworth area for over ten years has defended his use of animals in its shows.

Martin Lacey was responding to fierce criticism from an animal protection charity which was calling on residents to boycott the circus which is currently based at Lea Marston near Kingsbury.

The Great British Circus uses camels, llamas, reindeer, Fresian horses, Falabella, zebra, ponies, dogs and donkeys in its performances and is the last remaining circus in the country to also include tigers.

Mr Lacey told the Herald: “We’ve been coming to the Tamworth area for over ten years now and people vote with their feet.

“All I would say to people is that if you have any concerns, put on your jacket and come and see us and make your own minds up. “You can look behind the scenes for just £1 and you’ll see we have nothing to hide.

“I’m on my tenth generation of tigers and my 12th generation of lions now – would they really breed for me if they were not properly cared for?

“Our animals are not ones we’ve dragged kicking and screaming from the wild and made perform for the titillation of the general public – they are my family and twice a day they enjoy organised play in the ring. “I’m not brave or stupid enough to knock tigers around.”

But the Captive Animals’ Protection Society has called on the public not to attend the circus which is performing in the village until June 10.

Liz Tyson, director of CAPS, said: “Constant transportation, confinement and repetitive unnatural performances is no life for any animal and CAPS encourages families to choose one of the fantastic all-human shows to get their circus fix this year.

“Visitor numbers to circuses with wild animals have halved in the last five years and there is a huge amount of support for the new proposals for a ban.

“But the Government needs to act quickly and we ask that people stay away from those shows that continue to use animals in the meantime.

“We sincerely hope that we will soon see a ban on this practice in this country but we remain concerned for all animals in circuses, whether domestic or wild.

“CAPS asks that the public vote with their feet and boycott all animal circuses, ” she added.

But Mr Lacey, a former zoo director and zoological adviser for television, said that scientific studies had proved that animal keeping in circuses was no worse than that found in stables and farms.

And he said of the charity’s accusations: “This is just a potty crusade – a bunch of rhetoric from a group of people who have never kept such animals.

“We are regularly checked by all sorts of government departments and we pass those checks.”

News Link:-http://www.thisistamworth.co.uk/Circus-boss-hits-says-tigers-family/story-16291049-detail/story.html

Circus owner defends use of animals as attraction arrives in Sutton Coldfield

Comments Off on Circus owner defends use of animals as attraction arrives in Sutton Coldfield

A RINGMASTER who reportedly claimed he would have to shoot his tigers if a ban on circus animals was passed has brought his troupe to the Midlands.

The Great British Circus began a three-week run at Kingsbury, near Sutton Coldfield, on Tuesday.

Now operating under the name Big Top Productions, (” why, why change the name, unless you don’t want to be associated with any past allegations!”) the circus is recreating children’s favourite Black Beauty and Friends. It features horses, tigers, camels and even a llama.

But owner Martin Lacey, who has trained animals for more than 40 years, said the accusations of cruelty were “absolute rubbish”.

 He told The Birmingham Mail: “These animals are worth a lot of money, are we going to be cruel to that investment?

“I’m not big or brave enough to beat up tigers – they would eat me.

“I have to be their best friend. It has to be organised play. That is how you train a dog – with organised play, this is the same.” “Mmmm…I don’t think it’s quite the same as training a dog! Even dogs have to be taught who is boss…so exactly how does he do that with lions?  The same as evey other circus trains their wild animals, with fear & abuse!!!”

Mr Lacey, whose tigers descend from a cat he collected in the 1970s from a back garden in Birmingham, said there had only been seven prosecutions for animal cruelty against circuses in more than 150 years.

“Daily in the courts there are pet owners who have mistreated their animals,” he said.

“In every industry there are some people who behave badly but you don’t close the whole industry”  “Well that would be because not all industry’s are working with endangered animals who have to perform degrading tricks to line your pockets!”

Mr Lacey’s circus has been dogged by criticism in recent years.

Three years ago an undercover investigation by an animal welfare group claimed to show elephants being beaten and jabbed with hooks.

A circus spokeswoman said yesterday that the elephants were hired in by an act and the contract was terminated once Mr Lacey became aware of their mistreatment. “That was rather convenient!”

And he came under fire when, discussing government plans to ban the use of performing animals, he reportedly said: “The Government is forcing me to put a bullet through the heads of my animals. This ban is illegal and a restraint of trade.“If a ban on wild animals came into place in the UK, no animals would have to be shot…what a moron!”

 The Government pledged in March to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses “at the earliest opportunity”.

But Mr Lacey said: “There’s no ban and I doubt there ever will be.

“A Defra report concluded there were no welfare problems and that circus care of animals was not better or worse than other animal keeping systems.”

Animal rights group Captive Animals Protection Society said it opposed the attraction.

Campaigns worker Emily Wise said: “Tigers are forced to jump through hoops – they are an endangered species and they are being carted around the country. Ethically we oppose animals being used for entertainment.”

What do you think of the use of animals in circuses? Email letters@birminghammail. net

Read More http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2012/05/26/circus-owner-defends-use-of-animals-as-attraction-arrives-in-sutton-coldfield-97319-31047973/2/#ixzz1wBbws2Ja

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: