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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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

ADI and Gillian McKeith. Smelling the bull-shit

Proof  (if it was ever needed) of the relationship between pseudoscience and the animal rights movement. Animal Defenders International (ADI) are actively promoting the fact that they have invited the 'nutritionist' Gillian McKeith to the viewing of their film Lion Ark a film portraying their 'rescue' of animals from a Bolivian circus.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Are the UK Public Getting Bored of AR Propaganda and Trendy Politics?

Traditional circus culture and industry has been under the threat of animal rights pressure for a long time now. We take the matter very seriously hence the existence of this blog. Rouster is also not ignorant to the fact that the AR philosophy - and we appreciate it has many different mutations - impacts on everyone. This is why we do not just write or post about the battle circus has against PETA, HSUS, ALF, CAPS, ADI, BFF and so on, but also look into the larger picture. Circus is just such a perfect subject to sum up the overall threat of the AR movement for two reasons.

Firstly, it is at the pointy end of their attacks and therefore, it allows a complete exposure of the purpose of the AR movement. Circus has always been a very tempting target for AR fanatics. Being a form of entertainment their very definition puts them in the public eye. Ever since a class divide in entertainment began at the beginning of the 20th century and circus soared in popularity, the snobbish intelligentsia were primed to look down upon variety entertainment. Despite having given so much to culture, circus is only made up of a small minority of people and has virtually no resources to defend itself culturally. The only exception to this rule happened in the US recently when Kenneth Feld, one the world's most successful people in the entertainment industry, decided to stick to his guns and fight AR accusations all the way. He won, but it is unlikely than anyone else in the industry would have resources close to his in order to been able to play the AR movement at their own game. It has always been an asymmetrical battle with circus losing money as it spends time and funds fighting against its critics, and the AR movement gaining money by launching attacks, successful and otherwise, against circuses. We can see how the AR movement behaves and what lengths they will go to, at all levels, to achieve their objectives.

'Bullhook' has been mischaracterized

Stylized illustration depicting a cobra and an...
Stylized illustration depicting a cobra and ankus or elephant goad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Elephant trainer, Janice Aria, articulates an excellent counter-argument to the AR propaganda being pushed to ban the use of the ankus (aka bull-hook or elephant hook) in elephant handling in the below opinion article for the Richmond Times. Although Rouster applauds the overall message put over in the circus novel and feature, "Water for Elephants", which celebrates what good care can be given to circus elephants, sadly it reinforces the bullhook myth. Her article looks at the facts relating to the care, handling and training of circus elephants, based on her experience and the data available.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Chipperfield Lions and Tigers on North East Farm

We have come to expect an overwhelming amount of bad UK press against wild animals (or any animals) in circuses. This is unsurprising given the fact that attacking animal circuses is a dead cert money spinner for animal rights groups. However, Rouster is pleased to report that the report in the "Evening Express" newspaper last Tuesday presented two impartial articles.

Despite the militant animal rights group, ADI, being quoted and also being wrongly referred to as an animal welfare group, the result fairly positive. The North-East newspaper ran a story on the wintering of Thomas Chipperfield's mixed act of lions and tigers on a farm. The farmer who rented the farm spoke highly of the Chipperfield family and it was confirmed that all had been complied with in accordance with the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976.