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.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What, How and Why?

Trying to define the art form that is animal training is like giving a description of the visual features of a sunset to someone who was born without the gift of sight, no words can do justice to such a magnificent spectacle. Unlike any scientific method, it cannot be completely explained with just words. With that in mind, the following is the best attempt I can make to share with you our tradition, passion, and way of life.

I shall start by describing what we do. As any animal lover knows, to form a bond with a being of a different species is to bridge the gap between worlds, and to be able to communicate your wishes to your pet dog, cat, horse, or any other animal, and to have them fulfilled without coercion, is an extension of that bond. It is widely known that teaching your pet to perform certain actions and behaviours, whether it be house training, retrieving toys, rolling over, or jumping over or through obstacles, is highly beneficial to its wellbeing. The idea that this principle is limited to house pets and does not apply in a travelling circus environment is absurd, at best. Scientific studies have shown repeatedly that dogs, cats, horses, camels, llamas, various species of reptile, big cats and many other animals not only DO NOT suffer when living on a circus, but, in certain cases, even thrive better than in zoos and stables. And what gives circuses the upper hand over zoos? The physical activity and mental stimulation known as performing. That and the constant change of sights, sounds and smells help to keep our animals happy and healthy.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Animal Defenders International : the real elephant in the room.

This month - and after much detailed planning - Longleat Safari Park announced detailed plans for the proposed new Elephant Sanctuary. 

The announcement comes at an appropriate time particularly with the animal-rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI) recently publishing a mean-spirited, vitriolic and ill-informed attack on Longleat and their treatment of the former circus elephant Anne.

Under the head-line: " ADI welcomes news of hoped-for improvements for Anne at Longleat" the activists wasted no time in demonstrating not only its clear ignorance of the animal-husbandry of elephants, but also it's evident contempt for Longleat. A facility that Jan Creamer (Chief Executive of ADI) had previously stated was a: "a place of safety" for Anne the elephant.   

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Radical Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals?

Rouster has observed over the past year how the RSPCA, the UK's most famous animal welfare charity, has started to do an apparent U-turn on its non-radical front.  Up until 2012 the RSPCA had been involved in a wide range of activities that seemed to indicate the society's desire to be seen as an animal welfare group rather than a militant political group. They launched a food label to brand meats, milk and other animal products as "cruelty-free" from approved farmers. The RSPCA also indicated an interest in helping to create achievable standards in animal training and various other animal industries. These actions demonstrated a desire to work alongside the animal companies that animal right groups oppose directly, solely on ethical grounds.  It suggested that the RSPCA's focus was on improving the welfare of animals in all industries, which is the sort of behaviour that Rouster endorses and applauds.  It was comparable to the approaches taken by other sensible, animal welfare and environmental groups that are pro-animals and pro-nature, but not anti-human.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

This all sounds rather prestigious and grand, but what is the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics?


The captive animals' protection society (CAPS) - the UK based charity who states that it aims to end the use of all animals not just in circuses but also in zoos and the exotic pet trade - has never been shy when it comes to self-aggrandisement.  Recently it proudly boasted on its Facebook page that CAPS Director, Liz Tyson had been offered the role as an Associate Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.