Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Wild circus animals come to Scotland, as warned by ADI Lions and tigers from English circus to spend

Posted: 31 October 2014. Updated: 31 October 2014

Lions and tigers from one of two circuses licensed to perform in England with wild animal acts are set to spend the cold winter months in Aberdeenshire, as reported by the Evening Express. The move comes less than 2 weeks after Animal Defenders International (ADI) President Jan Creamer warned that “Scotland risks being the destination for its wild animal acts” after the outcome of its public consultation on the issue was pushed back to the New Year. There had been no wild circus animals in Scotland, until now.

ADI President Jan Creamer who is currently leading a mission to rescue big cats and other wild animals from circuses in South America said, “It is very sad that whilst we are rescuing lions from circuses in Peru and Colombia, having secured bans there, the future for these big cats looks bleak, unless Scotland, and England, press ahead and ends the unpopular and outdated use of wild animals in circuses. It is shameful that we have fallen behind 28 countries who have now taken action to help circus animals.”

Earlier this year, ADI revealed footage of the big cats, who are owned and trained by Thomas Chipperfield and have been performing at Peter Jolly’s Circus since last year, pacing up and down their cages. This abnormal and repetitive behaviour, known as a ‘stereotypy’, is commonly observed in circuses but not seen in the wild, and indicates compromised welfare and suffering.

Circus inspection reports released to ADI earlier this month revealed a string of welfare and animal management issues at Peter Jolly’s Circus. These included the circus failing to provide animals with water in a pre-performance holding area and withholding water for the tigers to bathe in, denying them the ability to perform this natural behaviour, albeit in a small tub of water. The big cats’ microchips had also not been read since they were acquired, owing in part to the animals being insufficiently trained.

The reports also stated how snakes had been allowed to get to an “advanced” state of putrefaction, preventing a post-mortem examination to determine their cause of death; veterinary records were found to be incomplete; humidity readings for the snake vivarium were not recorded and the raccoon’s enclosure size was noted as being “only just acceptable”.

ADI is currently working with Government authorities in South America to help enforce wild animal circus bans in Peru and Colombia as part of a groundbreaking rescue mission, Operation Spirit of Freedom. 22 lions and 4 monkeys are currently in ADI’s care. Having been removed from the circus, the animals will be relocated to their permanent homes once they are fit and ready to travel.

ADI undertook a similar rescue in Bolivia, having secured a nationwide ban on all animal circus acts, and the award-winning documentary Lion Ark – which charts the historic mission – will be screened at Glasgow Film Theatre on November 15th.

Public support for a ban in the UK 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 the UK already have bans on the use of animals in circuses, and 28 countries worldwide have national restrictions in place.

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 to try and secure the ban ahead of the General Election which will have its second reading on November 7th.

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.

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Contact: Fleur Dawes +44 (0)20 7630 3344 or +44 (0)7785 552548 prdesk@ad-international.org

Evening Express “Lions and tigers spend winter at North-east farm”

The Scotsman “Scotland ‘a magnet for circuses using wild animals’”

Additional footage and images of the big cats and other wild animals in British circuses and of animals rescued from circuses are available on request

Lion Ark screens on Saturday 15th November at the Glasgow Film Theatre. ADI filmmakers and rescuers Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips will be on hand to answer questions after the screening

Circus bans worldwide

Twitter #circusban

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. http://www.ad-international.org

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