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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Monday, 24 June 2013

The Operation was a success, but the patient died

Death in the animal kingdom, although a cruel reality, has always been unpleasant for those who possess a strong affinity with beings of another species.

Last week, on the 14th of June, we were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Thandora, a female African Elephant who, earlier this year, made headlines around the world in the most recent attempt the reintroduce a zoo animal back into the wild.

Sources say that Thandora was a native of the Kruger National Park and, between the ages of 4 and 5, was brought to Bloemfontein Zoo after being orphaned in a cull.
It was at her new home and over 20 years later, because of her wild birth, she was selected for the attempt of being reintroduced back into her natural habitat. This was accepted by Bloemfontein Zoo after pressure was put on the zoo by the NSPCA.
This charity, much like its British counterpart, publicly advocates animal welfare whilst covertly pushes an animal rights agenda. The involvement of this group, it would seem, marked the beginning of the end for her.

After an eventful "rehabilitation" - which involved Thandora breaking free from the makeshift enclosure, or "boma", she was being kept in to go in search of her home at the zoo - she was released. A month later, of her own free will, she shunned the herd of cows and a calf that the team behind her relocation were encouraging her to join with and instead, showed a keen interest in a group of bulls.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Horses for Courses but not Circuses

The UK government announced earlier this year that they wish to bring about a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.  Unable to support such a ban on animal-welfare grounds they decided to bring about the ban via a more ambiguous route citing "ethics".  The ban, if the proposed bill passed into law, means that Parliament will effectively ban all wild animals in circuses from the end of 2015.

The ban, of course, does not prohibit domestic animals like horses, which as those with knowledge of the origins of the British circus know, were the first animal species displayed in the circus ring.

Whilst a ban on wild animals is viewed by many as a sad dilution of the spectacle and skill of the circus, they could at least take solace that the horse would remain an integral part of the circus tradition.  Unfortunately, and some may say predictably, this is not the case.