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

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Friday, 23 December 2011

Rouster's Top 10 Hypocritical Anti-Circus Celebrities (Number 6)

Alec Baldwin


Probably the most famous member of the Baldwin family, Alec Baldwin is an American actor who first found fame as a star of the soap opera “Knots Landing”. Since then he has starred in a number of feature films and won several awards. He was also lampooned in the film “Team America” as the leader of the fictional “Film Actors Guild”, a group of actors with extremely liberal politics.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Rouster’s Top 10 Hypocritical Anti-Circus Celebrities (Number 7)

Martin Shaw


Martin Shaw is a respected British actor best known for his TV roles. His breakthrough performance was in the popular crime series “The Professionals” and later in other roles connected to law enforcement. He has a distinctive voice and has done numerous voice overs. He began his career in theatre and has also starred in a few feature films.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

No Dialogue - Just Dogma by Rouster

UPDATE: Mystery solved! Miss Cilly as "Th...Image by sanspareille69 via Flickr

 Despite a high profile propaganda exercise by the various animal-rights charities in the UK earlier this year the UK Government’s agency the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has decided that regulation and not a ban on wild animals in British circuses is the way forward. It is ironic to think that this is something the owners of British circuses have wanted for many years. 

However, in a press release on the 13 December 2011 it was revealed that a number of animal-rights (and pseudo-animal welfare) groups: the RSPCA, Born Free Foundation, Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS), World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), One Kind and Four Paws have decided to boycott any future meetings regarding future licensing of wild animals in circuses.  Their position is clear. They wish a ban and nothing short of that will satisfy them.  Once again they cite dubious propaganda they themselves have been active in promoting to support their position.  See the critic on this blog re the post card campaign by CAPS regarding circuses.

Rouster’s Top 10 Hypocritical Anti-Circus Celebrities (Number 8)

doris day turkeyImage by carbonated via Flickr
Doris Day


Doris Day is one of the most successful female box office stars in cinema history in a career that lasted from 1948 to 1968. She is also a highly successful recording artist. Born in 1924, Day continues to be active and even released an album in 2011 over four decades since her last major hit single, “Move Over Darling”.  

Why are they anti-circus? 

Doris Day became a staunch animal rights activist in 1971. Like her showbusiness career, Day’s “charity” work is also a massive success, winning her acclaim from no less than George W. Bush who presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Rouster’s Top 10 Hypocritical Anti-Circus Celebrities (Number 9)

Brian Blessed


Brian Blessed is a celebrated and well-loved British actor. His distinctive booming voice, which he uses to great effect, can be heard regularly on various adverts, as a guest star on radio dramas and on children’s television characters. Whenever you need a larger than life masculine character you call on Brian Blessed. He is best remembered playing Augustus in “I, Claudius” in his youth, various Shakespearean roles onscreen under the directorship of Kenneth Branagh, as a grown-up fantastical imagining of Richard IV in the original “The Black Adder” series and as the winged Prince Vultan in the ultra-camp “Flash Gordon” motion picture. 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Rouster’s Top 10 Hypocritical Anti-Circus Celebrities (Number 10)

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  Actor John Net...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
 John Nettles 


John Nettles, British actor (writer and historian) that became a household name in the UK when he starred as Jersey Detective Sergeant Jim Bergerac in the series “Bergerac” in the 1980s and later as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby in “Midsomer Murders”. 

Why they are anti-animal circus? 

Rouster’s Top 10 Hypocritical Anti-Circus Celebrities (Introduction)

English: Hypocrisy Русский: ЛицемерImage via WikipediaBack in October Rouster put up a fun public internet poll to vote on who readers of "Astley's Legacy" considered to be the anti-circus celebrity with the most egregious double standards.


Celebrities are, by their nature, in positions of influence. Purely on the basis of their fame others look up to them as role models. When they lend their support to anything from an item of clothing to a political cause, we know the world (or at least the celebrity’s native country or fanbase) are going to take notice. Charities and political organizations know this fact. It is small wonder that PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) work hard to keep their association with celebrities and use them extensively to push their campaigns and their ideology. Such groups also know that whereas production companies, fashion houses and record labels might have to pay a fortune to use the services of a celebrity, a group that puts itself forward as either a charity or charity-like has a powerful bargaining chip that can mean more than your average pay cheque. By being seen to support a sympathetic cause the celebrity boosts their public image. They add another dimension to their outward persona. Suddenly they are “not just a pretty face”.  

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Use of Salivary Cortisol to Assess the Welfare of Elephants by Immanuel Birmelin (Society of Animal Behaviour Research)

Deutsch: Strukturformel von Cortisol English: ...Image via Wikipedia
This is a report  about Stress Levels in Circus Elephants  as presented by Dr Immanuel Birmelin, the well known German Animal Behaviourist to the ‘2011 International Elephant and Rhino Conservation and Research Symposium’ hosted by The Rotterdam Zoo International Elephant Foundation between 10th and 14th October 2011.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

When the Camera Lies by Rouster

English: Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs.Image via Wikipedia 

“Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.” - Benjamin Franklin

On the 12th December 2011 the British media reported that a certain scene in episode 5 of David Attenborough's high profile documentary series "Frozen Planet" had been faked. The scene involved the birth of a polar bear cub, where perhaps one of the world's (or at least the UK's) most famous nature commentators told viewers the scene was happening "beneath the snow". A "making of" video on the BBC website revealed this scene had actually been filmed in a German zoo.

Monday, 12 December 2011

A Slippery Slope Down the Big Top? By Gordon Bysshe

Slippery SlopesImage by Kevin Saff via Flickr
Rouster presents Gordon Bysshe's début article on this blog, discussing the validity of the argument that banning wild animals in circuses is just beginning of anarchic animal rights influence...

The slippery slope argument is a tempting logical fallacy asserting that if one moderate thing happens in a certain direction then it is inevitable more extreme things will follow until we reach an excessive point. However, it ceases to become a fallacy if one can prove why each stage will lead to a more extreme stage. Many who face the wrath of legislation, policies or laws that are the result of animal rights pressure, have been known to cry “This is just the thin end of the wedge! If you stop our animal industry then others will follow”. Is this a desperate cry for help? Perhaps, but before we begin to allow the animal rights philosophy a slight degree of latitude maybe we should consider one thing. Animal rightists, by the statement of their intentions and their very actions, they don’t deny this argument.

Friday, 9 December 2011

More Press Note the Animal Rights/Animal Welfare Distinction (c/o Portland Insight)

You have to look pretty hard, but here and there you find lone journalists who do not just jump on and run with the easy and emotive animal rights propaganda that is so readily available. With the exceptions of the Andrew McKies, Dominic Lawsons and Kenan Maliks of this fair island, most UK journalists are happy to hit us with headlines about animal abuse fed to them by groups with very dodgy and extremist agendas. The US seem to be a little more aware. Here Patti Strand, co-author of "Hijacking the Humane Movement", tells the "Portland Insight" about the dangers of going off the animal welfare path and down the animal rights route to dogma as new animal laws are being considered. Please click on the below title to read this insightful article.

Animal rights activists often go too far

Thursday, 8 December 2011

HSUS Spending Editorial (c/o Animal Finder's Guide and Humane Watch)

Following on from yesterday's disturbing news that a former HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) - according to their accounts, the world's largest animal rights group - is now serving as a chief enforcer for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the above Christmas editorial in the American journal "The Animal Finder's Guide" was a small relief. It is good to see that some people involved in the animal industry understands the real threat of animal groups like HSUS. The editorial, written by the very informative animal rights watch group Humane Watch, states its case clearly in the opening paragraph: 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wake up America! (from "Sawdust and Spangles")

Logo for the United States Animal and Plant He...Image via Wikipedia "Wake up America!  The Infiltration continues .... Why is Sarah L. Conant serving as the chief enforcer for APHIS within the USDA? Her last employer (assuming she is no longer still collecting a check from them) was the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS is the world's largest animal rights organization, yet nobody said a word when USDA hired her. Why not?"

- Spangles and Sawdust Blog

This is certainly disturbing news. APHIS = "Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service" of the USDA = US Dept of Agriculture = not somewhere you want to find an HSUS employee (ex or otherwise ....... foxes and chicken coops etc)

Sadly in a world gone mad it almost certainly would be a case of discrimination if Conant were refused the position, but we are talking about someone opposed to animals in agriculture being put in a position of power over food production = PC madness!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Animal Welfare in Circus is Perfect (Part 2) by Terry Bunton


Circus aerialist and professional artist, Terry Bunton continues his passionate cry for reason against animal rights lunacy and the case for animal circuses...

What separates humans from other animal species is that we have a grammatical communication which has given us a way to educate future generations, form political alliances, play sports, cook our food, make personal choices through democracy, learn, pass exams to get qualifications, record the past, plan the future and organise the present. Yes, animals have memory and cognitive response to varying degrees, depending on species, but they do not have any of the above skills. 

However, the animal rights dogma perverts the Darwinian path and often twists to ridiculously silly ideas. For example, amongst thesefundamentalist militants there are even a few of those who have concluded thatbecause chimpanzees are the closest to use genetically, they should be givenVOTING RIGHTS!  Meanwhile uninformed pet owners and those who choose to eat meat and wear by-products such as shoes, belts and coats who are lured into supporting an animal rights campaign are unknowingly funding a dogma, which aims to take away these freedoms. Animal rights organizations are known for issuing aggressive propaganda targeted at parents and their children by declaring all meat-eaters to be murderers and the innocent practice of the family day out to the zoo or an animal circus to be a “wicked activity”.

Lies, Damn Lies and CAPS Leaflets by Anna Webb

Truth liesImage via Wikipedia
No, you are not seeing triple. This is the third time Rouster thought it was appropriate to paraphrase the famous quote that Mark Twain attributed to Benjamin Disraeli and now often used to describe the misuse of statistical information. However, it is no less fitting in this instance. Anna Webb was inspired to write about her frustrations on the shamelessness of the anti-circus group CAPS (Captive Animal Protection Society) and their latest postcard/leaflet.

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" goes the phrase. This has never been truer than in one of the recent CAPS (the Captive Animals’ Protection Society) leaflets. Take a look at this:

Friday, 2 December 2011

Animal Welfare in Circus is Perfect (Part 1) by Terry Bunton

TIME FLIES.....................*Image by Neal. via Flickr 
I have come to notice how many of our contributors reflect on time and how it relates to animal circuses. The changing of times in particular. Anna Webb originally remarked on this in her general discussion on "Our Changing Relationship with Animals". Now, in his début piece on "Astley's Legacy", circus aerialist and professional artist, Terry Bunton expresses his thoughts on the result of 30 years of anti-circus campaigning. Terry has appeared on several radio shows defending animal circuses and high-lighting the real threat of animal rights activism. An artist that has no connection with animal acts whatsoever, be it directly, through family or business, Terry's passion seems all the more heartfelt...
For two centuries up until about three decades ago, almost everyone in the UK visited circuses with animals at least annually.  Although it had always been their policy to oppose animal circuses the RSPCA had a begrudging respect for circus people and even awarded wild animal trainers for excellent husbandry.  Circus was regularly seen by millions of people on television as part of the norm.  And it was also one of our country’s most famous circus families that invented huge safari parks where circus animal were often retired.  Yet NOTHING (in Britain especially) is the victim of such ill-informed hysteria by the minority as the use of animals in circuses.