Circuses and elephant rides and all sorts
Apologies for the silence! Busy couple of months – ADI refused to take part in the Government’s consultation on an inspection scheme for animal circuses, and we issued a joint statement with all the leading animal welfare groups, everyone boycotted the consultation.
It’s simply not reasonable that an expensive licensing regime is proposed, to be replaced by a ban at a later date. Nobody believes that. The Government has lost all credibility with the public and animal protection groups on this issue.
Everyone wants to see a restriction on the use of wild animals in circuses – public want to see and end to their use (94/5% in Defra survey) – parliament has voted repeatedly for it to end (63% of MPs want to see an end to the suffering). And so it goes on, while other animals like Anne the elephant, filmed being beaten in her barn by ADI investigators, continue to suffer.
The Government is responsible for Anne’s suffering and will be responsible for the next animal that is seen on TV screens, being abused.
The trial of circus owners Moira and Bobby Roberts on charges of failure to protect Anne the elephant from cruelty inflicted by their staff, as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, starts on 18 June. This will tell us whether the AWA can indeed, hold owners responsible for what happens to their animals.
The constant round of consultations and calls for evidence as the UK changes its rules on animal experiments, has continued. The new European Directive has to be functioning by 2013, so this autumn is when the new regulations will be tabled. We were pleased this week, when the Government announced that some of the key issues that have been demanded by the public have been taken up – no reduction in UK animal welfare provisions, no reduction in inspections. Our campaign to push through the regular reviews of animal experiments, with all stakeholders involved, continues. It has widespread political support; we need to ensure it happens.
In the US, we persuaded Orange County Fair Board in California, to cancel their elephant rides with Have Trunk Will Travel, after they saw how the elephants were trained with bullhooks and stun guns. Many will recall the horrific footage from our investigation when we launched the real training of Tai, the elephant star of ‘Water for Elephants’.
The city of Santa Ana in California has also ended 25 years of elephant rides at their zoo. The town of Sierra Madre cancelled the 4th July Parade appearance by Tai. Then Fountain Valley also cancelled their elephant rides when they saw the video. Well done to those cities and authorities who looked at the evidence, decided that this kind of treatment of animals is not accepted in civilised society, and made the right decision.
Colombia – we’re nearly there with the animal circus ban. Passed unanimously in the House of Representatives. Now on way to Senate.
We also filed a lawsuit this week with PETA against USFW over the export and re-import permits of elephants and tigers for Ringlings Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus.