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, 24 February 2015

Call to Stop Bullying a Minority

You would think that the father of the mayor of London and the UK's best-selling tabloid would have more serious targets than a closely regulated and tiny family industry. We live in an age where the threat of extremist ideas is terrifyingly real. In fact, terrorist attacks, terrorist executions on our front door and the threat of losing our freedom either through fear of upsetting a militant minority or laws intended to protect us have come to determine the evils of our time. With more people moving towards nationalistic and downright racist political ideologies in response to economic pressures, you would think that responsible people in positions of influence - such as journalists and the media in general - would decide to take a good hard look at the issue of persecution. Yet both the writer Stanley Johnson and the "people's newspaper", The Sun, decided they would have a shot at another minority today. And who are they championing as they attack this minority? An animal rights group with a confirmed employment record of a convicted felon, who was prosecuted with possession of a firearm with intent to injure or kill.

Today Stanley Johnson was given half a page to write a propaganda piece for ADI (Animal Defenders International), who asks the general public to donate money. The article is an attempt to rally support to urge government to accept the repeatedly refused bill to ban wild animals in circuses. Please bear in mind, that stringent animal circus regulations have been in place since 2012 (see the regulations here).

All animal circuses in the UK and they are but a handful, with even less exhibiting the animals that would be banned, have passed the government inspections. Prior to the proposal of a ban there were two independent scientific investigations into the use of wild animals in circuses. The first was commissioned by the RSPCA who have a strong and consistent political bias against the use of wild animals in circuses despite their own inspectors frequently finding no issue whenever they have inspected a circus. Nevertheless, the animal behaviourist expert, Dr Marthe Kiley Worthington concluded that circuses with animals had the same level of welfare found in zoos and similar establishments, and has remained a convinced supporter of good circus practice (see her conclusion of her report here).

The second investigation involved a panel of independent veterinary experts, commissioned by the government for the Radford Report. The politician who gave his name to the report was also against the use of wild animals in circus. However, yet again, the report returned a very similar verdict to Worthington and stated that there was no scientific grounds to ban the use of wild animals in circus (see the report here). It was only from backbench pressure that the next government decided to try to introduce a bill to ban the use of wild animals in UK circuses. Even then, they had to admit that this would be pursued on "ethical grounds" rather than science.

We don't need to look back to history or even across into countries we see as being oppressive to see the dangers of laws that have a basis in ethics. The precedent set with banning animals in circuses is a scary thought indeed. It is also a worrying thought that attention has been directed towards persecuting a small number of legal and government regulated businesses, who pay their taxes, do what is asked of them, provide employment, take their business to communities all over the country and only wish to bring enjoyment to families.  

ADI were exposed by Astley's Legacy in this article. Their philosophy and objectives are extreme. They are not a UK registered charity. They have been linked to a violent criminal and reprimanded publicly by a judge in court for methods that reveal they are more interested in getting media attention than they are about actually saving animals. We urge that you use the information from the article to write to The Sun. If you support this site and its objectives please do this as soon as possible.  

You can contact The Sun here.

Further Reading

Animals in circuses! Has the Sun Gone Green?

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
Or follow us on Twitter: @RousterAstley

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