Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI exposes ape suffering in entertainment at Schwaben Park Germany

Posted: 29 August 2013. Updated: 7 July 2014

September 1 is International Primate Day and the theme this year highlights the unnecessary suffering of apes and monkeys in the name of entertainment.

To mark the day, major international animal protection organization Animal Defenders International (ADI) is revealing damning evidence of chimpanzee exploitation at a German amusement park to highlight the shocking suffering intrinsic to the use of non-human primates used for entertainment.

ADI visited Schwaben Park in Germany to view the treatment of chimpanzees used in its ‘Schimpansen Show’. New undercover images taken by ADI show five chained and collared chimpanzees wearing shorts. During the show the chimps pedalled tricycles, balanced on a ball and jumped over hurdles. By forcing primates to perform tricks, express non-natural behaviours or dress in clothes, the entertainment industry turns these intelligent and complex animals into figures of derision which can undermine serious conservation efforts and stimulate demand for animals to be snatched for the wild because they are seen as amusing playthings.

In nature, these intelligent, social animals generally live in complex societies where they communicate and show compassion. In entertainment, chimpanzees and monkeys suffer terribly, deprived of all the normal, social and mental stimulation that they would enjoy in the wild, living in social isolation in barren conditions where they remain until wanted for a performance. Infants are torn from their mothers’ arms for training, which may be gained through a withdrawal of food, water or affection.

ADI investigations have shown that, in the main, discipline or abuse tends to occur off set and behind the scenes, while the animals are being trained or kept isolated in their cages. This makes it almost impossible to ensure that a performing animal has not suffered during a lifetime of training.

Animal Defenders International Chief Executive Jan Creamer said: “Suffering is an inevitable part of life for primates used for entertainment in shows, films or at events. Never visit attractions with performing primates and urge the Government to keep its promise to ban wild animals in circuses to keep Britain free of circus cruelty to chimps, monkeys and other primates.”

The death, earlier this year, of Louis the chimpanzee who had appeared for years dressed up in human clothes in TV adverts for Brooke Bond PG Tips, felt to many like the end of an era and that such spectacles were long behind us. But the sad spectacles continue in Europe and without proper legal protection primates will continue to be vulnerable.

Last year, following talks and a presentation of undercover evidence by ADI exposing the conditions at a number of performing animal suppliers including Amazing Animals, Vision Express ended its use of all wild animals in advertising after featuring live primates in an advert.


Over 200 local authorities in the UK have banned wild animals from circuses, including primates. ADI is urging the Government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. 22 other countries have national measures to restrict the use of animals in travelling circuses, either all, or wild animals, or selected species, including: Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Slovakia, Sweden, Portugal, Taiwan, Singapore, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Costa Rica, India and Israel. Similar laws are being discussed in the United Kingdom, the United States, Netherlands, Malta, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Norway.

Alexi Sayle, Jamiroquai, Mark Radcliffe, Jenny Seagrove, Wendy Turner-Webster, Benjamin Zephaniah, Helen Chamberlain and Celia Hammond support ADI’s My Mate’s A Primate campaign highlighting the exploitation of non-human primates.

International Primate Day was established by Animal Defenders International in 2005 for campaigners around the world to highlight the threats to and abuses of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom – apes and monkeys.


Fleur Dawes, Animal Defenders International
Tel: 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548

Animal Defenders International
With offices in London, Los Angeles 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.

© Animal Defenders International 2019