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"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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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

CAPS Cancels Christmas: Rudolf's Redundant


Once again, CAPS does not disappoint in its use of an ideological animal rights agenda; whilst ignoring the reality of the animal welfare standards for species such as reindeer provided by licensed and lawful enterprises such as circuses.
Our jovial and self-styled 'animal-rights and vegan supporting' friends at the Captive Animal's Protection Society (CAPS) are again trying to ensure that those who make a living working with animals have a miserable festive season.  Not content with wanting zoos, circuses and the pet trade banned, they also wish to spoil the harmless enjoyment of children 'of all ages' seeing reindeer and other animals at Christmas fairs and similar events. 


As regards the banning of the use of reindeer, CAPS base their concerns on a report from DEFRA's Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) - a committee that provides advice to DEFRA and the Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales, on the welfare of farmed animals.

“There have been a number of reports of ill thrift and death in these animals due to poor management and their special dietary and environmental requirements. Reindeer are out with FAWC’s remit because they are not farmed but we strongly suggest their welfare should be considered further by the Government as they are particularly likely to be kept by inexperienced owners for commercial reasons”.
On its web page CAPS has produced a letter template that its supporters can send to venues planning to display reindeer, it claims:
"To date, no action has been taken by Government to protect reindeer and events such as the one you have planned is exactly the type of commercial use that the statement above refers to"
At the current time, there are a number of companies that supply reindeer for special events.  Judging from their web site and welfare declarations most appear to have a firm grasp on the husbandry of reindeer and their welfare.  From those Rouster has viewed, the reindeer are mainly sourced from reindeer farms with the owners being subject to inspections and their animals being on view to the general public all year round. Suppliers also often come under industry regulation bodies. Therefore, it would appear that CAPS claims are somewhat tenuous.

Moreover, CAPS seems to have overlooked one commercial animal enterprise that displays reindeer and has actually had their welfare mandatorily inspected: this being licensed UK circuses. 

As of December 2012, all UK circuses displaying wild animals are subject to animal welfare inspection and licensing and within the animals cited in the regulations are reindeer.  Not only do these regulations cover animal welfare, but husbandry, diet and staff training, which would clearly ensure that those caring for these animals are not in any way 'inexperienced'.

In support of this, a recent BBC Radio programme 'You and Yours' (19 August 2013) which reported on animal circuses, had a first hand explanation that circuses were fully aware of the special husbandry needs of reindeer.  Whilst being interviewed at Circus Mondao, both the owner of the circus, Carol Macmanus, and a spokesperson for the Classical Circus Association, Rona Brown, made it clear that they were fully aware of the reindeer's special needs and made sure these were provided.




Once again, CAPS does not disappoint in its use of an ideological animal rights agenda; whilst ignoring the reality of the animal welfare standards for species such as reindeer provided by licensed and lawful enterprises such as circuses.





Peta vs Animals

Astley's Legacy was formed to counter the misinformation and propaganda spread by animal rights activists. As well as fighting the corner for circus animals and their trainers, we are here to promote and celebrate the cultural heritage of circus in general, and especially in the country of its birth - Great Britain. For more information please see our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/223570581049199
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