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’.

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Earthlings – The Feature Length Documentary About The Suffering Of Animals For Human Gain

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“I posted this, way back in February, but have just noticed the video’s were removed??…so here it is again!” 

“Question?, why do humans inflict & perform the most heinous acts of cruelty on animals??

“Answer:- Because they can – simple! Animals can’t talk, they can try to fight back; but when they do, humans just use brute force to overpower them. When you think of it like that…you soon start to realise…it is humans that are the cowards; moreover it is humans are the animals!.”

“By posting this, I’m certainly not trying to convert everyone to become vegetarian or vegan…I’m just sharing the truth about what happens to animals from birth to slaughter. For those that choose to stay meat eaters, watching this might just give you a better understanding of why so many people are choosing  to be vegetarian or vegan.  Seriously, all I ask is that you try to watch as much as you can…as difficult as it is in some parts…it is very informative.”

“After viewing it, people are entitled to their own opinions regards the subject matter! I am not telling people what they should or should not eat, it’s a personal preference. However, the best thing that has happened since the release of this film, is that public attitudes have changed & paved the way for better animal welfare!”

“More & more people are learning, through video films like this, exactly what happens to animals, & more are demanding changes.  Like the great saying by Sir Paul McCartney “If slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian’ not sure about all, but it would change many people!”

“Please read everything below the video first, as this gives information about watching in other languages, turning annotations on & off because this is a multi subtitled video. If you can follow English by listening, then you may want to turn off the subtitles to concentrate of the subject matter. Plus it gives a list of websites full of information about food!”

Earthlings – Full length documentary (multi-subtitles)

Uploaded on 13 Dec 2010

EARTHLINGS is the single most powerful and informative documentary about society’s tragic and unforgivable use of nonhuman animals, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix with soundtrack by Moby. Directed by Shaun Monson, this multi-award winning film by Nation Earth is a must-see for anyone who cares about nonhuman animals or wishes to make the world a better place.

PLEASE: don’t run from reality, watch the film and share your thoughts with other viewers in the comments section. Thank you.

For more information:…

If you are under 18 and not allowed to watch, press the link below:

If you live in Germany and can’t see, press the link below:…

The film’s official website:

Use the [CC] button for subtitles in your language.

Subtitles / Captions currently available in 26 languages:
Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, German, Greek, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese-BR, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

Dutch version:…

A request: subtitles in Japanese and Hindi do exist somewhere. If you know how I can get one of them, please let me know. Thanks.

Still didn’t watch the best video I know on Animal RightsGary Yourofsky‘s amazing speech? Please do and SHARE it in any way you can.…

We are all EarthlingsMake the Connection!

About Unity – The next film 

UNITY is the newest film by Shaun Monson for Nation Earth. Written and produced over the past five years, it will be released in 2012. The structure of the film comprises six acts, which are as follows: Body, Mind, Heart and Soul, bookended by a Prologue and Epilogue.

The subject of the film focuses on humanity’s propensity for apathy and empathy. Shaun has described UNITY as a film about opposites, or rather, “Why we perceive opposites in one another despite our various religions (88% of the planet is religious), all our Self-Help books, our 12-Step programs, even our philosophies and vast technology.”

The imagery in UNITY will be an intricate collage of everyday life, some beautiful, some horrible. The film is filled with joy, wonder, sorrow and maturity. As with Shaun’s previous film, EARTHLINGS, the editing once again manages to lead viewers into new and intriguing directions by a mix of unprecedented beauty with heart-breaking tragedy. While it is a cautionary tale, UNITY also hopes to introduce a little grace, philosophy and awareness into more lives than ever before.

A web search will reveal how EARTHLINGS has been the subject of some of the most fanciful descriptions, tributes and accolades ever lauded on a documentary, especially one that tackles such a difficult subject matter. And even though the film was roundly ignored by distributors upon its initial release in 2005, there is no doubting the influence the film had on future documentaries dealing with the same topic, including three films by HBO: DEALING DOGS (2006), I AM AN ANIMAL (2007), and DEATH ON A FACTORY FARM (2009), as well as two Academy Award® nominated films in 2010: FOOD INC., and the Best Documentary Feature, THE COVE.

UNITY picks up where EARTHLINGS left off, except instead of focusing on our relationship with animals, the film explores man’s dualistic relationships with each other. Therefore, the point we wish to make with UNITY is to cast a light on this essential contrast between apathy and empathy. Our principle intention is to indicate to those who see the film that we have all (human, animal or tree) sprung from the same root: that root being the earth.


Victory! Baby Elephant to Be Freed

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“What brilliant news, & a great end to my first Friday back at the helm! I’m  sorry,  I would love to post more, but my head is telling me otherwise, which I think for once I will take notice of…lol….Hope you all have a great weekend!”

You did it! Sunder, a 13-year-old elephant who has been kept chained inside a dark shed at Jyotiba Temple in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra for seven years, will soon be freed and on his way to a better life. The move comes as a result of a rigorous three-month campaign led by PETA, in which more than 13,000 people from within India alone took part in PETA’s online petition that called for Sunder’s release. Legendary former Beatle Paul McCartney and Hollywood‘s Pamela Anderson also lent their support to the campaign by writing letters to government officials.

Thanks to an order just issued by Maharashtra Forest Minister Dr Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam, who listened carefully to the evidence of Sunder’s abuse, Sunder is to be removed from the temple and rehabilitated in a wildlife rescue-and-rehabilitation centre near Bangalore. 


“The difference between Sunder’s cruel life in chains at the temple and his new journey to freedom, love and care is like night and day“, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “Daily walks and mental stimulation are essential to elephants’ mental and physical health. Lack of exercise and years spent standing in one position on hard surfaces amid their own waste often lead to painful and crippling foot ailments and arthritis. We are grateful to the Forest Minister for agreeing to liberate Sunder and let him enjoy the things that are natural and important to him for the first time in his life.”

The abuse that Sunder endured highlights the scandal that is growing over the way that elephants used in Indian temples to represent the Hindu god Ganesha are being housed and mistreated. Many elephants at Indian temples also show signs of severe psychological distress – such as swaying, head-bobbing and weaving, behaviour not found in healthy elephants in nature. Frustrated captive Indian elephants commonly harm or kill their mahouts or others around them.

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Related articles

“Sunder” The Elephant Needs Our Help!

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You may have heard or recall the post I did earlier,that just before the London Olympic Games , Paul McCartney halted rehearsals to make an urgent plea in behalf of a suffering young elephant.

Now, PETA India has obtained new photographic evidence of the abuse that the elephant is enduring while being used as a living begging bowl and beaten by a vicious, inept young mahout (trainer). 

At just 13 years old, Sunder has already experienced terrible torment. Kept in chains in a dark shed at the Jyotiba Temple in Maharashtra, India, he is unable to take even a single step without causing a spike to jab his skin.

When he is taken out of the shed in order to beg for money for this wealthy temple, the mahout controls him with a spiked chain, a sharp bullhook (which is like a fireplace poker), and other weapons that force Sunder to follow orders out of fear of being struck.

Sunder is often seen with fresh wounds that he sustained during beatings, and the marks that cover his body stand as evidence of years of abuse.

PETA India–supported program, Animal Rahat , was finally given permission to provide the elephant with veterinary care for his right eye, which was likely injured from being jabbed with a bullhook.

Sunder is also denied adequate food and water and never experiences anything that is natural and important to him, such as exploring the woods and enjoying the company of other elephants.

A complaint has been filed with police against Sunder’s mahout, since the torment that he inflicts on the elephant is in violation of the Wildlife Protection acts of 1972 and 2002 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

PETA India and the veterinarians present are also requesting that Forest Minister Dr. Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam use his authority to have Sunder surrendered and retired to a proper sanctuary that PETA India has standing by to receive him.

Help free Sunder! E-mail the forest minister, Dr. Kadam, and urge him to free Sunder without a moment’s delay.


News Link:

Action Alert:–

Care2 Petition:


“I was trying to find a video of the actual elephant but couldn’t, found the one below though…Just think about the abuse these magnificent beast have to endure…& people wonder why some of them, turn on their mahouts!  The guys in the video certainly didn’t like it when they realised they had been caught on tape abusing the elephant”.

Guruvayoor Elephant Mahouts

Published on 26 Jul 2012 by 

Dear Friends I shot this video when I visited Elephant Sanctuary at Guruvayoor, (Thrissur Dist. Kerala, India.) on 3rd of January 2010. This is very cruel , people behaviour towards animals. I was threatened while I was shooting this video and such a difficulty I could finish it. I kept this video all these days under the cover. I heard that elephant named “Arjun” is not in a position to walk as the mahouts hit him to the core and left leg had broken. Considering Arjuns case he is one of the best elephants in Kerala. I seriously don’t know why these government servants behave this way to Elephants. 
Please share video if you love ELEPHANTS

Sir Paul McCartney writes to minister against cruelty to elephant

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Moved by the condition of a temple elephant in Kolhapur that was allegedly beaten and kept in chains, ex-Beatle Paul McCartney has written to state Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam, requesting him to take action to rehabilitate the animal.

McCartney called on Kadam to draw his attention to Sunder, an elephant at Jyotibha temple in Kolhapur district, after People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India investigated complaints from local residents that the animal was being abused.

“I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at Jyotibha Temple and put in chains with spikes,” McCartney wrote in his letter.

“I appeal to you to do what is right here and get Sunder post-haste to rehabilitation in the forest. Years of his life have been ruined by keeping him and abusing him in this way and enough is enough,” he wrote.

Around three weeks ago, the PETA team found a young elephant, around 13 years of age, being kept in a pathetic condition at the temple. “All his legs were chained and his mahout (handler) was young, newly appointed and hardly had any experience. There was a hole in the animal’s ear, like every captive elephant has, where a sharp hooked weapon, called the ankus, is jabbed to control the animal and he had a severe injury in the right eye due to the same instrument. He did not have access to water or enough food,” said Dr Manilal Valliyate, director of veterinary affairs, PETA India.

When McCartney, a PETA supporter, was informed about the elephant, he immediately offered to help, said Valliyate. “Even though he was busy with the London Olympics rehearsals, he wrote the letter almost within a day of informing him,” he said.

The PETA team has filed a complaint in the case with the local police and is also in constant touch with Kadam. “We have informed him about the elephant and shown him the photographs as well. He told us that the matter is under review and no decision has been taken so far,” said Valliyate. PETA is also in touch with local MLA Vinay Kore, who donated the elephant to the temple. “He was unaware that the elephant was being mistreated and is sympathetic,” said Valliyate.

Animal welfare organisations said such cases are not new and many temple elephants are abused across the country. “We had found an elephant in Pali, Raigad, which had lost an ear, and another one that was regularly chained in another part of Maharashtra. But such cases are common across the country. Elephants are made to walk long distances in the wild but kept in captivity, they suffer from mental and physical distress,” added Valliyate.

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Ricky Gervais Thrilled With Elephant Ban

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Ricky Gervais is celebrating a victory after a ban on using wild animals in circuses was passed in Britain.

Wewon… Congrats Twonks (fans). A victory for compassion

The comedian and longtime animal rights activist has been outspoken in pressuring government officials into outlawing tigers, lions, elephants and other exotic creatures from the big top.

On Thursday (01Mar12), the Department for the Environment confirmed plans to implement the crackdown within two years.

Gervais took to his page to share his delight, writing, “We won… Congrats Twonks (fans). A victory for compassion”.

Sir Paul McCartney also threw his support behind the legislation, while American stars including Pink, Demi Moore and Olivia Munn have helped spearhead a campaign to eliminate elephants from U.S. circuses.

via Ricky Gervais Thrilled With Elephant Ban.

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