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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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.

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

All creatures on our planet have a potential of adaption for unpredictable or changed environmental conditions. If the potential of adaption is exhausted, the animal might suffer from stress. A non-invasive assessment of welfare in captive elephants can be realised by measuring the salivary Cortisol, which indicates stress. Animal rights activists often argue that circus-elephants suffer from stress under the conditions of the circus. That is why we measured the salivary Cortisol of three African circus-elephants in the paddock and during the transportation. We did the tests in the paddock always at the same time on four sequently following days to avoid diurnal effects. To measure the salivary Cortisol during the transport we took samples before and after the tour from Monte Carlo to Plaschow in Germany (approx 1500km). The biological analysis of the samples was done by Prof Sylvia Kaiser of the University of Muenster, Germany. The measured values of the elephants in the paddock were similar to the measured values of elephants in a compound ((Menarques et al 2008). There were also no differences between the measured values before and after the transport, which leads us to the conclusion, that the tour did not cause stress for the elephants.

Full minutes of the 2011 International Elephant and Rhino Conservation and Research Symposium
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for putting up this article, Im refering to it often, and make links.