Your Guide to the Reality of Animal Circus



"The academic panel concluded that there appears to be little evidence to demonstrate that the welfare of animals kept in travelling circuses is any better or worse than that of animals kept in other captive environments" - Executive Summary of the DEFRA Circus Working Group 2007

Join us on Facebook The WELFARE of Circus animals.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Feld Entertainment, Inc. Wins Appeal in Case Brought by ASPCA and Other Animal Special Interest Groups

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey CircusImage via Wikipedia"Astley's Legacy" was formed as an independent blog. We are no-one's puppet or propaganda machine. There are plenty of things circuses have done in the past and certain things they do now that the majority of our writers do not agree with. No circus is perfect and no animal trainer is perfect either. Although we hold that the fundamentals of animal training via traditional circus are correct and in line with Animal Welfare considerations held by the rest of mainstream animal businesses, we are always interested in pushing for improvements. Having said this, due to a lack of time we thought it best to report this important news verbatim from the side of an argument who we all largely support. Please see below the recent press release issued by Feld Entertainment, as it announces its eventual legal victory over a vicious campaign set up by the animal rights movement... 

Friday, 28 October 2011

A Forgotten Hero? By David Hibling


I am delighted to introduce a piece written especially for this blog by David Hibling. David has an extensive background in circus - with particular experience in British circus. He is and has been an animal trainer, a ringmaster, an administrator and an artistic director for most of the major circuses in his lifetime. This essay reflects on the release of a new movie that features the namesake of this blog, the inventor of the modern circus Philip Astley...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

PeTA: Slave to Dogma by John Dineley

Caricature Slavery 1738Image via Wikipedia

Just when you thought that PeTA couldn't get any more extreme with its plan to produce pornographic films interspersed with scenes of animal abuse we see them spending yet more of their gullible supporters' money in an inane court case against the marine parks group Sea World. PeTA are trying to sue the park citing the USA 13th Amendment against human slavery and twisting this law to include five killer whales.


Sea World actually owns 24 killer whales. These five are the only ones that were caught in the wild - the last in 1983 some 28 years ago. The other 19 animals were all born in captive care and this is a tribute to the excellent care Sea World gives to it animals. And as pointed out by some commentators this is also an abuse of the 13th Amendment and an insult to many humans that are still in real slavery around the world who would gladly swap their lifestyle to be treated like the whale at Sea World.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Celebs Beware! PeTA is not your friend

Matt Damon - TIFF 09Image by Bucajack via FlickrI recently did a web search on celebrities that openly spoke out against the animal rights movement. After all, I don't like to be a pessimist about this sort of thing. Many people bemoan that our public figures are intellectually inept, fickle and superficial compared to the great poets, philosophers, authors, playwrights and politicians of yesteryear. Sadly you have to dig quite deep. Putting it simply, the public profile benefits of supporting the animal rights movement in some way seem to outweigh opposing them. At least they do in the short term. Imagine the "dilemma" typically faced by a celebrity or their agent:

Support our animal rights campaign and we will put you more in the public eye, and show you to be compassionate and caring. Oppose the animal rights movement and you will receive a lot of abuse - anything from being lobbied by protesters to receiving death threats or even physically assaulted (as was the case with musician Ted Nugent).

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Child Exploitation, the "95%" Myth and Other Persistant Annoyances

TearsImage by TimOve via Flickr
Britain is famous for it's double standards. In his "Notes on the English Character", the great writer E.M. Forster addressed (and largely agreed with) the charge that Britain is "the island of hypocrites". Despite opposing the supposed exploitation of animals in circuses, many animal rights supporters and their organizations have no issue whatsoever with exploiting their indoctrinated offspring to provide effective emotional clout to their campaigns. At the forefront we have four year-old Gabriel Ryan who is being carted all over the UK to push his mother's political ideology and has been turned into a rather disturbing symbol for the 2011 "Animals takes the Smiles out of Circus" campaign. The militant animal rights group, CAPS (Captive Animal Protection Society), showcased a photo of young Gabriel wearing a full lion costume complete with make-up that displays a painted-on tear. It matches a blown-up picture that was showcased on CAPS' banner, which they displayed on their 3rd October protest at the Conservative conference in Manchester. Gabriel caught media attention when the poor little soul was displayed outside Bobby Roberts Super Circus in a full clown costume displaying his trademark painted tear (actually a CAPS trademark when you look at their logo of a performing elephant) and holding a hand-painted rendition of the aforementioned CAPS campaign slogan in Knutsford, Cheshire on 30th March. The photo by Christopher Furlong evoked so much pathos that it has taken on a life of its own on the net, as a virtual symbol of sentimentality.