Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Circus industry hits all-time low as MORI refutes misleading claims

Posted: 14 March 2006

Zippo’s Circus are being called to task over a series of misleading statements they have made concerning an opinion poll they commissioned and an ADI Mori Poll on public attitudes to animals in circuses commissioned by Animal Defenders International last October. Martin Lacey of the Great British Circus has also made similar unsubstantiated claims in the media.

False and misleading statements on the Zippo’s website about the ADI Poll have now been completely refuted in a written statement from MORI.
Click here to view the MORI website

Martin Burton of Zippo’s had claimed on his website: “The cornerstone of the ADI’s campaign was ‘evidence’ provided by a biased MORI poll. This bias has recently been acknowledged by MORI who have said that ‘proper procedures were not followed’ and that the poll should not have been be allowed to be published. The results have since been removed from MORI’s website.” This is untrue.

MORI issued a statement today:

“MORI conducted a survey of public opinion on behalf of ADI in October 2005, regarding views towards performing animals in circuses. The survey comprised a nationally-representative sample of 1,007 people across Great Britain, interviewed by telephone. The results were posted on our website for general information.

“Last month, we received a complaint from a member of the public, claiming that the question was biased by the wording of a preceding question. The results were removed whilst a similar question was run among a comparable sample – without the preceding question - to judge the effects of the claimed bias.”

“In the event, the two sets of results proved to be very similar – and so the hypothesis of bias was not proven. We are therefore re-posting the ADI survey results, and are happy to confirm that MORI stands by them.”

Tim Phillips, Campaigns Director of ADI, says: “These are extraordinary and underhand tactics from the circus industry. They are making untrue statements about our poll data, then they are blatantly massaging their own data to try and improve their results. They are claiming people who said they “have no opinion” are actually supporting their cause! This time they have sunk to new depths, can anyone trust anything they say?"

ADI Mori Opinion Poll, October 2005:

  • 80% say ban all wild animal circus acts.
  • 65% say ban all animal circus acts.
  • 90% against whipping and beating when training circus animals.
  • Only 7% strongly opposed the calls for bans.

The poll also revealed that more than twice as many people now visit animal-free circuses as opposed to those with animals. In the last five years, numbers attending animal-free circuses have risen from 6% to 16%.
Animal circuses remain slumped at 7% attendance.

The most popular forms of animal entertainment attended are aquariums (50% of respondents), zoos (39%), safari parks (22%), showing that people see circuses as an area where specific action is urgently required by the Government – even if they do not oppose the broader issue of animals in captivity.

Significantly this Poll supports the findings of earlier ADI NOP opinion polls:-

In 2004, ADI NOP Poll:
Question: “The use of performing animals in circuses should be banned"

  • Agree strongly 51%
  • Agree slightly 12%
  • Neither agree nor disagree 9%
  • Disagree slightly 18%
  • Disagree strongly 8%
  • Don’t know 2%
  • Thus: 63% support a ban on performing animals
    26% oppose a ban

    ADI Poll Data more consistent:
    ADI’s current position is based on successive polls over two years, by different independent companies, rather than a single poll.

    Zippo’s Poll
    Burton also makes another misleading and exagerated claim about Zippo’s opinion poll on horses in circuses: “MORI poll shows 62% public support for horses in circus". The data shows no such thing – Burton arrives at this figure by claiming everyone who said “don’t know” is a ”yes”.

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