Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

No camels next time

Posted: 23 May 2006


Alerted by a supporter, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has condemned the GMB Union for hiring a live camel to stage a protest against AA owners’ Permira and CVC this Sunday outside a London church. The camel, called Teifet, is 30 years old and had to endure nearly six hours travelling to and from the agency in Chepstow that owns him, in addition to the three-hour event.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI, said: “Camels only live until they are 30 or 40 years old, so this camel has served its time and we are appalled that the GMB union is exploiting this animal in this way. This camel had to undergo a nine hour round trip with no vet in attendance. It is degrading and potentially very distressing - the amount of traffic, noise and pollution around Clapham Common can only upset the poor animal. GMB could have saved the union hundreds of pounds by hiring a camel costume instead.”

ADI’s campaign against the use of performing animals in entertainment has gained momentum over the past year as it has taken aim at some of the world’s major brands such as Toyota, Diageo, D&G, Barclaycard, Sony Ericcson and broadband supplier, Homechoice as well as the UK Government’s HM Revenue & Customs.

Jan Creamer, added: “The GMB should set a better example than to use performing animals in their roadshow, these animals suffer in captivity deprived of normal social interaction with their species. The harsh training regimes enforced by trainers and suppliers of animals for the entertainment industries simply add to their distress.”

The union held the demo outside the church in Clapham with which wealthy Damon Buffini, the boss of Permira is associated. The union was protesting against job losses of a third of the workforce and asset-stripping, purporting to use the camel to remind the congregation of the biblical quote about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.

A spokesman for the GMB said afterwards, referring to the camel: “We won’t be using him again.”

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