Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

ADI offers to rehome Annie the abused elephant

Posted: 27 March 2011. Updated: 17 April 2015

‘Let’s retire Annie, get her to sanctuary’

Having released shocking footage yesterday from behind the scenes at the winter quarters of Bobby Roberts Super Circus, which graphically showed violence and confinement of circus animals, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has offered to help rehome Annie to a safe retirement.

Jan Creamer, ADI’s Chief Executive said: “We have a terrific network of sanctuary contacts throughout the world and are very experienced at animal rescue, rehoming and relocation, so we now appeal to Mr Roberts to do the decent thing and hand Annie over to us. We would need to assess her with our vet, consider her age, history and health, and then determine what will be the best outcome for Annie.

“We have rescued many animals including lions, tigers, chimpanzees, horses, snakes and primates from Europe, Africa and South America and got them to sanctuaries in the US, UK and Africa, so Annie will pose no problems whatsoever.

“Let us now give Annie the proper retirement that she now so richly deserves, where she will have space to be free and act like an elephant, as nature intended. Let us also remove the other animals who remain in the care of the other worker who was filmed kicking and punching them.”

How you can help

We urgently need your help to save Anne, and stop this suffering once and for all.

  • Write to your MP at: The House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
  • Write to Lord Henley, the Minister responsible for animal welfare at: The House of Lords, London, SW1A 0WP.
  • Join our Street Team and raise awareness in your local area.
  • Make a donation and help fund our campaign to end circus suffering.
  • For more information, contact ADI. Email us at info@ad-international.org
  • For press enquiries, please contact ADI Media Relations Director Phil Buckley on 07716 018 250

Prior to rehoming, Annie would need to be assessed by ADI’s veterinary team, who would then decide which facility would be best for her and if Mr Roberts agrees to release her to their care, intend to contact suitable sanctuaries this week.

ADI are certain that they can bring her to a level of health where she can travel to her new home and the chosen sanctuary would be invited to come and assess her in advance.

ADI is still in discussions with its lawyers considering the potential for legal action for breaches under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, acutely aware that the offending worker left the premises on Friday night.

Jan said: “We’re asking Mr Roberts that as he knows the name of the worker he needs to help us see that justice is done. His wife Moira said yesterday that they wished that they’d had the opportunity to prosecute him, so we therefore implore the Roberts’ to do the right thing. Give us the name of the worker caught abusing her on camera, so that justice can then be served.”

ADI secured footage over a three and a half week period from a camera observing activity in a barn where the animals are kept when not touring, which showed a staggeringly high level of violence and serious animal husbandry flaws.

Incidents included Annie (Anne), an elderly, severely arthritic 57 year old elephant being hit with a metal pitchfork and kicked around the face and body 48 times over the period of observation by workers, who are also seen beating and spitting on a camel and beating miniature ponies and horses on numerous occasions.

The disturbing footage also shows Annie constantly chained for the entire period of filming by her front and arthritic back leg with only enough room to take one step forward or backwards. Her chains were only changed to different legs twice, ADI believes this will clearly cause her pain and discomfort. It was noted that the feeding regime was poor.

ADI are now pushing hard for a total ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

Government’s own public consultation in March 2010 found that an overwhelming 94.5% of the public want to see a ban on wild animals in circuses and over 170 MPs have now signed Early Day Motion 403 calling on the Government to ban wild animal acts. A recent parliamentary poll conducted by ADI found that 63% of MPs would like to see a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and only 14% disagreed.

ADI has now exposed the shocking abuse of animals in UK circuses from many undercover investigations over the last fifteen years. Only recently, in 2009, the beating of elephants at the Great British Circus was exposed and now in 2011 Bobby Roberts Super Circus shows that this is a way of life at the circus. A clear pattern has been proven and this time the government needs to act.

Tim Phillips, ADI’s Campaigns Director said: “The public wants to see a ban, Parliament wants a ban, animal protection groups want a ban. A ban is the only way to put an end, once and for all, to this deplorable violence and deprivation, and government must act now.”

ADI has received an overwhelming response from the public regarding Annie’s plight and the fantastic media attention has helped to keep this important animal protection and welfare issue firmly in the spotlight at a key time as Government considers the use of wild animals in circuses.

How you can help

We urgently need your help to save Anne, and stop this suffering once and for all.

  • Write to your MP at: The House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
  • Write to Lord Henley, the Minister responsible for animal welfare at: The House of Lords, London, SW1A 0WP.
  • Join our Street Team and raise awareness in your local area.
  • Make a donation and help fund our campaign to end circus suffering.
  • For more information, contact ADI. Email us at info@ad-international.org
  • For press enquiries, please contact ADI Media Relations Director Phil Buckley on 07716 018 250

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