Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI elephant investigation helps save wild animals from Swedish circus

Posted: 15 October 2013. Updated: 4 July 2014

Animal Defenders International (ADI) has welcomed news that Swedish Cirkus Scott has dropped wild animal acts after elephants performing at the circus were revealed to have suffered beatings and mistreatment at the Great British Circus during an ADI investigation.

ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer “I am so pleased that Cirkus Scott will no longer use elephants, sea lions and other wild animals in its performances. Sweden was horrified at the cruel treatment of its elephants, uncovered by ADI, by their trainer whilst with the Great British Circus,. I ask that the British Government never again allows this cruelty to wild animals by banning them from the circus ring.”

In 2009, ADI conducted an investigation into the Great British Circus and its elephant act, and exposed frightened, stressed elephants being brutally hit in the face with metal hooks, brooms and pitchforks. Three elephants - Sonja, Vana Mana and Delhi - were kept chained to the ground by one front and one back leg, barely able to take a step forward or back for up to 11 hours a day, and restricted access to food and water and social contact.

The Swedish public were outraged to find that Sonja and Vana Mana – two of the three elephants filmed in the UK by ADI being viciously abused whilst on tour with the Great British Circus in 2009 – were performing with Cirkus Scott in Sweden (1).

A statement released by Cirkus Scott today has committed the circus to stop using wild animals in its future performances, after 76 years of doing so (2).

ADI is working to Stop Circus Suffering around the world, and is urging the British Government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. Currently, 22 countries have national measures to restrict the use of animals in travelling circuses and in the UK over 200 local authorities in the UK have banned wild animals from circuses (3). The Government has published a draft bill on the use of wild animals in circuses which, if passed, will ban all wild animal circus acts by December 2015 (4).



1 SvD NYHETER: “Swedish circus engaged notorious elephant trainer” (in Swedish)

2. Cirkus Scott news release

3. 22 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.

4. Government commits to ban wild animals from circuses

5. Last year ADI reported how Sonja and Vana Mana – whose names have been changed to Gandhi and Baby – made a brief bid for freedom when they escaped into rush hour traffic in Copenhagen whilst touring with Circus Benneweis

6. ADI’s report on the elephant act at the Great British Circus

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.

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