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)

Redwood City man pleads no contest to torturing, killing family puppy

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“WTF…this guy was already on psychiatric drugs…on probation…being treated for a mental illness. The girlfriend must have known, because she was scared of him, I just hope she didn’t leave him in charge of her daughter?? Don’t the Doctors who know these people are sick, have a duty to ensure they are not a threat to others & keep an eye on those that are a threat to society? Apparently not! He is a dangerous man, the kind that enjoys torturing a little puppy, to the point of death; in front of a minor! This sick bastard should never be let out to repeat this type of thing. Bet you in 5 years time his name comes up again for doing something heinous!! Yet another case for an “Animal Abuse Register”!

A Redwood City man accused of torturing and killing a puppy in front of his young daughter has pleaded no contest to animal abuse and child endangerment charges, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Don’t forget this evil mans face! Picture from Examiner

Alan Benjamin Velete

On Friday, 32-year-old Alan Benjamin Velete was sentenced to two years in jail, in addition to a year in a residential rehabilitation treatment center, for the cruel acts which left his family’s puppy dead. (Picture & text from http://www.examiner.com/article/man-who-tortured-puppy-front-of-young-child-is-sentenced-to-jail?CID=PROD-topic-email-articles

In exchange for Friday’s plea, Alan Benjamin Velete, 32, won’t receive more than three years in prison. He also pleaded no contest to violating his probation for a 2011 felony assault conviction.

He was arrested Jan. 9 on charges that stem from a pattern of violence over several weeks against his family’s terrier puppy, named “Lucky,” that ended with the 4-month-old dog’s death, according to the district attorney’s office.

The abuse began after Velete and his daughter moved into the Redwood City apartment of his girlfriend’s mother in early December. The man became incensed after the puppy defecated on the floor and over several weeks he tortured the animal, including punching and kicking it, spraying household cleaner in its eyes, putting it in a duffel bag that was hung in a shower for hours, taping its mouth closed and feeding it his psychiatric drugs, according to the district attorney’s office. Much of the harm was done in front of his daughter.

His girlfriend and her mother later said they were too terrified of Velete to contact law enforcement, according to prosecutors. But after Velete killed the puppy, the mother anonymously called police.

Velete’s defense attorney, Naresh Rajan, said his client was being treated for mental illness at the time of the abuse and was under a lot of stress, and he has since “expressed all kinds of remorse” for his actions. While in county jail, he’s been receiving help through a counseling program.

“It’s horrible, it’s a 4-month old puppy,” Rajan said. “There’s no excuse, but he wasn’t thinking with a normal person’s mind.” ” Then why was he allowed into society???”

News Link:-http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_26233265/redwood-city-man-pleads-no-contest-torturing-killing

The Biggest Scandal In Modern Pig Farming? FARMAGEDDON – Solutions and Survivors

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“Please sign this petition, We have to keep the public updated on animal welfare issues. But with the AG- Gag Laws trying to be introduced to protect those who are blatantly flaunting the law; it’s hard to know what or where to turn to next.  Please sign the petition here or further down.”

News Link & Petition:http://action.ciwf.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=119&ea.campaign.id=20836&ea.tracking.id=2d57aea1

“We have to be the voice of the voiceless & ensure laws put in place to protect them; are in use!”

“YOU The PUBLIC have a voice, if you eat meat, don’t you want it to come from healthy farms, where the animals are cared for as they should be.? There are no excuses as you can see in the second video…but farmers cut corners to produce meat cheaply…would you honestly want to eat the meat that came from ill, diseased or filthy animals fed with slop??”

“Every time you open the door to one of these farms, you tell yourself: ‘it will be better than the last. They can’t all be ignoring the law, they can’t all be inflicting such misery.’ But then you see the pigs, and realise the scale of the suffering. It breaks your heart.”

Compassion’s Head of Investigations.

We have created a short video to summarise the findings of our investigation. Please help us to protect the pigs by watching it and sharing it as widely as possible.

The biggest scandal in modern pig farming?

Published on 23 Oct 2013

Much of the EU pig industry is completely ignoring basic welfare laws — leading to the suffering of millions of pigs. Compassion in World Farming has pulled together evidence from across Europejoin us in standing up for pig welfare by signing the petitionhttp://www.ciwf.org/EUpigvideo

Last year Compassion visited 45 pig farms across the EU. We went south to Italy and Spain; south-east to Cyprus; west to Ireland; and east to Poland and the Czech Republic. On every single farm we found the laws put in place to protect pig welfare were being flouted – the suffering was hard to witness.

And it doesn’t stop there.

We believe aspects of the Pigs Directive are being blatantly ignored all across the EU, inflicting illegal cruelty on millions of intelligent and sensitive animals. There are over 140 million pigs in the EU at any one time. Sometimes the scale of the challenge we are facing seems overwhelming.

But we have good news. The response to our petition has been amazing. It is the fastest growing petition in Compassion’s history; please help us keep up the momentum.

Take action

FARMAGEDDON – Solutions and Survivors

Published on 20 Feb 2014

An alternative to the Californian mega dairy.

Humane, sustainable dairy farming can and does exist in California! In this film, Philip visits Strauss dairy whose organic dairy herd graze on pasture and are treated as much more than just units of production.

Over a three-year period Philip Lymbery (CEO of Compassion in World Farming) has travelled the world bearing witness to the hidden cost of cheap meat and the devastating impact of factory farming — on people, animals and our planet.

The findings of this journey are brought together for the very first time in Farmageddon (published by Bloomsbury).

Farmageddon is now available to order online and in all good bookshops: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/14…

Help us stop factory farming. Join Compassion in World Farming todayhttp://www.raw.info/farmageddon

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Shocking photos show the moment a fox is dragged out of its hole by hunters and shot in front of children as young as FIVE

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“THIS DESPICABLE HEINOUS CRIME MUST STOP….PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION BELOW. How can anyone say that chasing an animal with the intention to kill it is a normal act! These POS get a buzz out of chasing a small animal, purely to kill it…it’s the thrill of the chase; & they love it!!”

By LIZZIE EDMONDS – 27 January 2014

  • Images, released by anti-hunt campaigners, show men setting dog on fox
  • They then use spades to dig creature out of a hole before shooting it dead
  • Critics have today condemned ‘cruel’ and ‘horrific’ incident 
  • But Countryside Alliance say the men acted legally under Hunting Act

This is the moment a fox was dragged out of a hole and shot dead while children as young as five watched on.

The images, released by anti-hunt campaigners, show a group of terriermen setting their dog on the  creature.

The fox tries attempts to hide in a badger’s sett – but the three adults fire into the ground and use spades to dig it out.

These images show the moment a group of men unearthed and shot a fox as three young children watched on

A farmer who captured the killing on camera says the group then called over three children to show them the remains.

The men can then be seen walking away with two dead animals. It is unclear where and how the second fox was killed.

The shocking incident happened shortly after a hunt on December 28 by the Modbury Harriers, which rides in south Devon.

The League Against Cruel Sports has handed the photos over to the RSPCA and asked them to investigate it as a possible breach of the Hunting Act..

The law bans hunting foxes with a pack of hounds – however it doesn’t cover the use of dogs to flush out animals underground.

The farmer, who has asked not to be identified, said the fox was initially chased across the field by hounds.

The Countryside Alliance said there was ‘no question’ the behaviour was legal – describing the killing as ‘professional and humane’.

“Just read the above comment on the picture…how can any sane animal lover, who owns just a dog or cat; say this is normal!! I see no difference in this than I do inhumane POS chasing & killing elephants or rhino…they are all sentient beings FFS!!”

The huntsmen moved on but before it could climb out of the badger’s set three men with guns and spades arrived – with three children following close behind.

The farmer said: ‘I sat there in disbelief – how could those guys think any of what had played out was fit for young children to witness?

‘I watched in horror as a whole pack of hounds poured into our neighbour’s field then piled into our meadow.

They made that hideous blood-curdling squealing – known as ‘speaking’ – which means they are on the scent of a fox.

‘I saw a beautiful vixen flash across the meadow and disappear into an old badger sett on my neighbour’s farm.

‘At the top of the hill I saw a couple of guys carrying spades and a terrier on a lead. They were going to dig her out and kill her right then and there.

‘The men came down and filled in the exit holes to stop the fox escaping and then called the children over to watch as they dug out and killed the young vixen.’

Sick Neanderthals!!

The farmer said the three men came across a second badger inside the hole which they also shot dead as the children craned their necks to see what was happening.

He added: ‘This is the dirty underbelly of fox hunting, the bit they don’t like even their followers to see.

‘But I was disgusted to see the terriermen had brought three youngsters to watch – one was only about five years old.

The farmer, who keeps a flock of 140 breeding ewes and a few chickens, is strongly anti-hunting and has complained about huntsmen trespassing on his land.

oe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), said: ‘This horrific incident of animal cruelty shows not only a total disregard for the dogs and foxes but also for the welfare of the children.’

The Countryside Alliance, however, said there was ‘no question’ the behaviour was legal – describing the killing as ‘professional and humane’.

Spokesman Tim Bonner said the outrage merely demonstrated that outsiders do not ‘understand the realities of the countryside and country life’.

Mr Bonner said he had spoken to the hunt, who told him the killing had been carried out as ‘pest control” with the permission of the landowner.

He said: ‘The children were not in the hole – they were close by – and as far as we are concerned it was a totally professional operation and nothing which should upset anyone.

‘They were using the terrier work exemption and properly, professionally and humanely managing the killing of those two foxes.

‘There would be plenty of children of that sort of age involved in pheasant shoots and ferreting.

‘The vast majority of children eat meat and at the end of the day it is a dead animal.’

The Hunting act:-

The Hunting Act came in to force in February 2005 and was passed under the 1997 Labour government. It bans hunting any wild mammal  – including foxes, deer and hares -with dogs in England and Wales.

Under the Act it is completely legal to ‘flush out’ – i.e. coax an animal from a hole or a sett – with dogs.

It is also legal to drag hunt with hounds. This is when the dogs are trained to follow an artificial scent and is now common practice across the country.

Hunting mammals with dogs was banned in Scotland two years earlier under the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002.

It is still legal to hunt in Northern Ireland.

Breaking the law is a summary offence. Those found guilty of doing so would be fined.

There were 181 convictions under the Hunting Act up to the end of 2010.

Petition Link:-http://www.yousign.org/en/justice-for-uk-fox

News Link:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2546867/Shocking-photos-moment-fox-dragged-hole-hunters-shot-children-young-FIVE.html

City Council Vote Means Circus Animals Still Welcome In Worcester

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“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…

‘Rescue Sanctuary’ Family Convicted of 16 Animal Cruelty Offences

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“Animals coming out of abusive homes, go to these places, expecting the best care, to aid in their recovery! But this just proves, yet again, anybody can set up a sanctuary; yet be capable of inflicting serious harm to animals, because they don’t love them!!. Don’t these places have to be licensed & inspected regularly?? If so, what happened?? It’s sad to say but some people see animals as an easy way to make money….they don’t love animals & have no interest in aiding animals to recover; they are just a means to an end!”

“I have no sympathy for those who abuse or neglect animals in their care & believe as a business, scamming everyone; they should receive the most serious of charges! How would you feel, if you had donated money to a sanctuary, only to learn that it mistreat’s its animals? terrible I’m guessing. So before you part with your money, even if the place has a flashy internet site etc…make your own investigations before you part with any donation. I think these so-called sanctuary’s need a lot more intervention from animal society’s like the RSPCA or HSI etc., depending where they are in the world…they need to be verified, that they are taking care of the animals in their charge; as they should!! Certainly no animals should have to be rescued from a so-called sanctuary; as in this case!!”

“Think about this, hotels are given star ratings, after being approved…yet animal sanctuary’s can pop up anywhere, with no interest what so ever in taking care of the animals…to them it’s just a money maker…wanting your donation!! Perhaps animal sanctuaries should be star rated to reflect the level of care the animals receive. Shame there were no pictures of this uncaring, selfish family. But similar folk are around us all, animal lovers must be vigilant & fight together to stand up for the rights of animals; if we don’t who will. Your local council representatives & governments are supposed to listen & work for their constituents; if they have no interest in animal welfare & don’t care….make some noise & get them booted out!!”

A family who ran an animal sanctuary in Oxfordshire have been found guilty of 16 offences of cruelty.

More than 100 animals, including 14 horses, were removed from Crunchies Animal Rescue Sanctuary, near Abingdon, in January 2012.

Eight peopleAngela Russell, her carer Daniel Bunyan, father Fred, son Robert, daughters Kirsty and Louise, her brother Peter and niece Abigail McHughwent on trial in April at Bicester Magistrates Court. They were charged with 16 offences, including failing to provide inadequate nutrition and veterinary care.

On Monday (24 June), all bar Peter Russell and Daniel Bunyan were convicted of all 16 offences at at Bicester Magistrates Court.

District judge Tim Pattison said: “I echo the words of RPSCA inspector Douglas Davidson that Crunchies was ‘an animal welfare disaster’; a sea of mud and faeces and, in short, a rescue centre from which animals needed to be rescued.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 June 2013)

News Link:- http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/family-convicted-of-animal-cruelty-offences/#98wbvdMzcbEdAGSE.99 

Breaking News: DPP Takes Over The Dog Porn Scandal Case

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Earlier, it was reported that Christopher Weissenrieder and the group of girls alleged to have been taking part in dog pornography were not going to be charged with bestiality when they were arraigned before a Mombasa Law Court Tuesday morning.

The Mombasa court even released the girls on a KSh100,000 bond each while Chris was released on a Ksh1 million bond and their case set to be heard in July.

However, the Director of Public Prosecution has taken up the case and is said to have added the charge of “Unnatural act with a dog.”

Announcing this new development, blogger/journalist Dennis Itumbi lauded the DPP on the move.

Earlier, there was discomfort among Kenyans who aired their grievances via social media after it became apparent that both Chris and the girls were not going to face bestiality charges.

News Link:-http://www.ghafla.co.ke/news/tv/item/8945-breaking-news-dpp-takes-over-the-dog-p0rn-scandal-case

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