Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI urges local councillors to ban performing animals in circuses

Posted: 16 September 2009. Updated: 28 October 2009

Animal Defenders International (ADI) is calling upon council members in Tendring, Essex to vote to ban animal circuses. This crucial vote comes just a few weeks after an ADI exposé showed animal cruelty at the Great British Circus, a touring circus which visited Clacton-on-Sea in July.

ADI’s undercover investigation into the Great British Circus showed two individuals mistreating the circus’s elephants. The shocking footage shows the animals being hit in the face, being kept chained and barely able to move for up to 11 hours a day, and displaying disturbed, abnormal behaviour. Click here to watch the video

Tendring Council is due to vote on Thursday 17 September on whether to implement a ban on circuses, travelling shows and funfairs using both wild and domesticated animals, a move welcomed by ADI.

ADI has campaigned against the use of animals in entertainment for several years, compiling a wealth of evidence, film footage and photographs, taken by undercover officers in the UK and worldwide for the global ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ campaign.

Jan Creamer, ADI Chief Executive, said: “Our most recent investigation shows a high level of casual violence taking place over just a few days. Sadly this is not a one off, it confirms all our previous investigations and shows that animals continue to suffer in travelling circuses. In 21st Century Britain, animals, such as these elephants, are being beaten and chained in the name of so called entertainment.”

“By taking a stand to ban animals in circuses, Tendring council can send a clear message to local residents that they support animal welfare and are committed to preventing animals from suffering the confinement and cruelty that is all part of life in a travelling circus.”

The Great British Circus began touring the UK in February 2009 with two Asian and one African elephant. Even though the Government promised to ban “certain non-domesticated animals” from travelling circuses in 2006, DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) allowed the elephants, Sonja, Vana Mana and Delhi, to be brought into the country from Germany, signalling a major backward step for circus animal protection.

Over 80% of the public want to see a ban on wild animals in travelling circuses and over 80 MPs signed a motion calling on the Government to ban wild animal acts and to strictly regulate the use of domesticated species. However, the Government has still failed to keep its pledge made in 2006 to ban certain animals from circuses.

Despite a lack of national legislation, many local authorities have taken a decisive step to ban the use of animals in circuses on council-owned land.

© Animal Defenders International 2019