Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

ADI slates Toyota TV ad using circus elephant, as support gathers for total ban

Posted: 15 February 2006

ADI has learnt that Toyota’s latest Yaris TV ad, which was filmed at Shepperton studios, features 52 year-old Anne, the last remaining UK circus elephant. CHI agency for Toyota Yaris used Stink production company to produce the TV ad, who have confirmed the elephant on set for 45 minutes was Anne.

As the campaign to ban animal circuses in the Animal Welfare Bill gathers support from MPs as well as the RSPCA, Animal Aid, Caps and Born Free, ADI chief executive Jan Creamer said: “Anne is obviously too old to travel with the circus let alone be transported for hours to be hired out for a TV ad. For over 10 years we have monitored this tragic elephant, including flying a vet to her when she became desperately ill in 2002. The vet’s report confirmed her poor condition - that she was lame, moved painfully and suffered from arthritis. We call on our supporters to boycott Toyota cars in protest.”

Anne’s tragic story symbolises the plight of all circus animals. She lives in a wholly unnatural environment, either chained by the legs or living in a small enclosure with an elephant hook used to discipline her. When the circus moves on, as it does most weeks, she spends unbearably long hours shut in her transporter – up to 19 hours at a time.

TV presenter and ADI supporter, Wendy Turner Webster echoed these sentiments: “Until the government bans circus animals, Anne will not be free. The Animal Welfare Bill will do little to protect animals like poor Anne from violence, withdrawal of food or intimidation. Despite the strength of public opinion against the use of animals in circuses, under the new Animal Welfare Bill it will remain legal to whip, kick and beat animals until they comply during training; and to keep animals in substandard, temporary accommodation all year round.”

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