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.
Amusingly, ADI are still throwing the confusing argument regarding wild animal acts being "unpopular" and how the UK are behind the "28 countries" that have banned wild animals in circuses. The latter point warrants a better examination for a later post.
However, the former point really does not make a lot of sense. If wild animals in circuses are not popular than why would anyone persist in including them? After all, it is a very costly venture to undertake. While we are on the subject, let's be clear about who pays to see animals in circuses. This is the general public.
The only place Thomas Chipperfield presented his animals in 2014, as noted in the said newspaper, was Peter Jolly's circus. A quick glance at Peter Jolly's website reveals that the most money an individual would ever pay to watch this show in 2014 is £16 for a ringside seat. So, let's be straight about this, UK animal circus acts are not some elite service for the rich. It's working class entertainment for the masses.
There is little doubt that the inclusion of Thomas Chipperfield's act brought in larger numbers of paying customers. Why else would a large act that includes a family and a group of lions and tigers be brought over from Ireland, no less, to be accommodated for a full season?
Whilst we are on the subject of popularity, you will note that Peter Jolly's Circus ran a full season. Any animal rights protests that ADI, CAPS and their friends may have inspired or organized have generally been unable to stop the general public. If anything, this backs up the argument that those in direct opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses are nothing more than a very vocal, aggressive and well-connected minority.
Read the report here.
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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