Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI condemns Jolly’s Circus for tethering animal without food and water during heatwave

Posted: 25 July 2013. Updated: 25 July 2013


ADI has today condemned Jolly’s Circus – one of only two circuses still to perform in Britain with wild animals – after reports that it tethered a mule, without food and water during the recent scorching weather.

ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer: “This serves as a grim reminder of what life is really like for circus animals, day in, day out and for much of the year. These animals will continue to suffer in the name of entertainment. Circus goers need to open their eyes to the inherent cruelty involved in all animal circuses.”

As reported in the local media, a cyclist witnessed the animal tethered by a “very short rope” whilst Jolly’s Circus was in Church Fenton, North Yorkshire. He stated that "The poor thing couldn’t get a drink and couldn’t get anything to eat” and that “its nose was only about three inches from the fence. At first I thought its head had got caught”.

Returning to the circus site the following morning the cyclist said that the animal had been tethered “behind a bush where he couldn’t be seen. His head was three inches from the fence again and he couldn’t get anything to eat.”

A spokesman for the circus told the local paper that the animal had been tethered for its own safety as he had “learned to let himself out of the paddock”. With regard to the provision of water, the spokesperson said that “Equines are not left with water buckets because they kick them over”.

Although wild animals in circuses are afforded some legal protection under the controversial licensing scheme that was introduced earlier this year – ahead of legislation to prohibit the use of wild animals in circuses being introduced – its domestic animals are given no such protection under the scheme .

The attitude that Jolly’s has for its animals is shown in their own words in their licence application, the documents for which were released earlier this year. In the retirement plans for its camel and raccoon, they state:

“Camels are pretty stoic about their personal conditions and can survive with very little or a very lot, they do not make decisions about their requirements or desire anything other than a diet that sustains them, housing that is minimal to their needs and grazing that give them daily movement and sustenance”.

[The raccoon has] “adapted well within the circus environment and has embraced the hustle bustle of circus life”.

ADI has investigated the use of animals in circuses in the UK and worldwide for over 20 years and through its Stop Circus Suffering campaign highlights how the welfare of all animals are inevitably compromised in the circus.

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