Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Animal Defenders International offers to help rehome wild animals from British circuses

Posted: 24 September 2014. Updated: 24 September 2014

Rescue team currently assisting in enforcement of circus ban in Peru

Ahead of the anticipated wild animal circus ban promised by Government, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has offered its expertise to help rehome animals currently touring with circuses in Britain, should their owners be willing to allow them a peaceful retirement after a lifetime of performance.

The organisation’s offer comes as an ADI rescue team works with Government authorities to help enforce a wild animal circus ban in Peru. ADI is currently transporting animals from circuses across the country to its Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue centre, where they are being cared for ahead of relocation to suitable, permanent homes.

Unlike the situation in Peru, the British ban would not require circuses to give up their animals, yet ADI hopes that owners will consider providing their wild animals with the opportunity to be relocated to sanctuaries where they will be able to enjoy the company of their own kind, leaving their performance days behind them.

ADI President Jan Creamer, who is currently overseeing Operation Spirit of Freedom in South America, said: “Although British circuses will not be required to give up their animals when the ban comes into force, we hope, as will the public, that owners will provide them with the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives away from the big top, and retire in the company of their own kind.”

ADI has worked all over the world rescuing and relocating animals, often in difficult circumstances. In 2011, ADI successfully worked with the Bolivian Government to enforce a nationwide ban on all animal circus acts. The mission, known as Operation Lion Ark, saw 29 lions from eight circuses airlifted to safety in the US, and numerous other animals rescued and relocated in Bolivia. The operation is the subject of the award-winning documentary, Lion Ark.

As part of its Operation Spirit of Freedom mission in Peru, ADI has also been called upon to relocate nine lions seized from a circus by Government authorities in Colombia. The animals are the first to be relocated following Colombia’s ban on wild animals in circuses which, like the ban in Peru, was passed after a long campaign by ADI and local animal protection groups.

The British Government has remained committed to banning the use of wild animals in circuses since it announced it would prohibit such acts in 2012. However, with progress appearing to have stalled, former Defra Minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP has introduced a Bill with the same wording as the Government’s draft legislation to try and secure the ban ahead of the General Election.

Public support for a ban on the use of wild animals in British circuses has been consistently high for 15 years, with a Defra public consultation showing a resounding 94% of respondents supporting a ban. Over 200 local authorities in Britain already have bans on the use of animals in circuses, and 27 countries worldwide have national restrictions in place.

ADI’s campaign to stop circus suffering in Britain is supported by politicians of all parties, leading animal protection groups and celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Dame Judi Dench, Brian Blessed, Twiggy, Eddie Izzard and Sir Roger Moore.

ADI is calling on members of the public to contact their MP to support the circus bill, which will have its second reading on October 17

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Footage and images of wild animals in British circuses and rescued animals are available on request

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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, and educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

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