Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI Condemns Controversial Camel Parade In South Tyneside

Posted: 5 December 2013

Leading animal protection organization Animal Defenders International (ADI) is calling on South Tyneside Council not to exhibit camels at a controversial ‘Christmas Wonderland Procession’ in South Shields on December 6th.

The ‘Christmas Wonderland Procession’ is advertised on the South Tyneside Council website as being “led by three wise men on camels”. The procession has already attracted controversy from local media and Cruelty Free Christmas, a campaign group which opposes animal performances during the Christmas period, which is planning to protest at the event.

ADI Chief Executive, Jan Creamer, “Camels are easily stressed and crowds, transport and unfamiliar environments compromise their welfare. When stressed or aggravated, camels can become very dangerous and have been known to lift children from the ground and injure them. South Tyneside is no place for camels and the camel parade at the ‘Christmas Wonderland Procession’ has no place in a compassionate society. We urge South Tyneside Council to cancel its cruel camel parade.”

Camels are social animals used to living in large herds and have evolved to live in an arid environment. Camel experts have shown that the animals can become stressed from a number of sensory and psychological factors including unfamiliar surroundings and transportation. Even well trained keepers can find it difficult to tell when these sensitive animals are stressed, ill or injured. The use of camels at events raises a number of animal welfare and public safety concerns as camels can inflict fatal injuries due to their size, strength and aggressiveness.

Wild animals used for events suffer many of the same welfare issues as in circuses, which are widely condemned by the public. A Defra public consultation on the use of wild animals in circuses showed the strength of public feeling on the use of wild animals in entertainment, with nearly all respondents calling for a ban on such performances. The use of wild animals in circus performances is set to be banned from 2015.

A petition calling on South Tyneside Council to stop the camel parade has received over 1,000 signatures


ADI is urging supporters to sign the petition and write to the council and organisers:

Fowler, M.E. (2000a) Restraint and handling of camels. Journal of Camel Practice and Research 7 (1): 77-90
Fowler, M.E. (2000b) The influence of behaviour on the health and well-being of camels and their handlers. Journal of Camel Practice and Research 7 (2): 129-142
Tefera, M. (2004) Observations on the clinical examination of the camel (Camelus dromedarius) in the field. Tropical Animal Health and Production 36 (5): 435-449


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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