Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Anne the elephant court case – Pre-trial hearing

Posted: 30 March 2012. Updated: 30 March 2012

At today’s pre-trial hearing at Corby Magistrates Court, Northants, it was agreed to allocate an entire week to the court proceedings in June, representing a three day extension from the original dates. The legal team of circus owners Bobby and Moira Roberts were also rebuked by both the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Magistrate for referring to Animal Defenders International (ADI) investigators as ‘extremists’.

Trial extended and ADI investigators called ‘extremists’ by defence team

At today’s pre-trial hearing at Corby Magistrates Court, Northants, it was agreed to allocate an entire week to the court proceedings in June, representing a three day extension from the original dates. The legal team of circus owners Bobby and Moira Roberts were also rebuked by both the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Magistrate for referring to Animal Defenders International (ADI) investigators as ‘extremists’.

The trial will now take place from the 18th to 22nd June, with the next case management review to take place on the 4th May at Wellingborough.

Jan Creamer, ADI’s Chief Executive said: “We are pleased that a full week has now been allocated to this case, which will be the first trial of a circus under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The additional time will enable thorough evaluation of all the evidence and provide the platform for a fair trial.

“It is a pity the defence team has reduced itself to name-calling and unfounded allegations to smear the reputation of ADI investigators, whose evidence has been used by courts and governments around the world. Clearly they are lacking an actual defence.

“ADI is a globally respected animal protection organisation that provides technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in the circus industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport”.

Bobby and Moira Roberts, owners of Bobby Roberts Super Circus, are charged with offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to the mistreatment of Anne an elephant originally removed from the wild and sold to the circus in the 1950s. Animal Defenders International (ADI) had assembled a private prosecution based on video evidence they filmed at the circus winter quarters. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is now taking the case forward.

ADI will be watching with interest to see how the legislation will be interpreted and enforced.

ENDS

Media contact:
Phil Buckley, Media Relations Director, Animal Defenders International,
07716 018250,prdesk@ad-international.org


NOTES TO EDITORS:

ADI secretly recorded the treatment of Anne and the other animals in a barn for 3.5 weeks, from 21st January to 15th February 2011 at the winter quarters of Bobby Roberts Super Circus in Polebrook.

Anne is a 58 year old female elephant brought from Sri Lanka to The Bobby Roberts Super Circus in the 1950s. Anne was subsequently transferred to a safari park with the owners’ consent.

The private prosecution was commenced by ADI on 18th July 2011 at Northampton Magistrates Court.

Given the public concern over the case, the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed that the CPS take over and continue the legal proceedings against the Roberts.
Mr and Mrs Roberts have been jointly charged with the following offences:

1. Causing the elephant to suffer unnecessarily, by requiring the elephant to be chained to the ground at all times, contrary to section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006
2. Failing to take reasonable steps to prevent their employee from causing unnecessary suffering to the elephant, by repeatedly beating it, contrary to section 4(2) of the same Act
3. Failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of the elephant were met to the extent required by good practice, contrary to section 9 of the same Act

Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues. http://www.ad-international.org



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