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, 24 October 2014

Circus Mania: Animal Welfare or Animal Rights - the big difference

"I understand why people often harbour an instinctive belief that keeping animals in circuses is cruel or distasteful. I was brought up with that belief. When I began writing a book about the circus, it was the daredevilry of the human performers that I wanted to celebrate. I quickly realised, however, that I would have to visit some of the last remaining circuses with animals because that was where I could get a glimpse into the history of the art form. I went along as a sceptic. Indeed, I went looking for signs of cruelty. But I was determined, too, to speak to the trainers and find out the truth."

Douglas McPherson has written an excellent piece on the distinction between animal welfare and animal rights, using animal circuses as a prime example. Despite articles in The Huffington Post, The Guardian and several books and websites dedicated to this education, the distinction between animal rights and animal welfare is often blurred. McPherson joins other journalists who have noticed how circus is the thin end of the wedge in the argument. Read his very interesting new article here.

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