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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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Celebrity Hypocrites - The award goes to Amanda Holden!

Regular readers will recall that not so long ago Rouster decided it would be useful to compile a list of celebrities who, during their professional careers, have been involved with trained animals and did not see the hypocrisy of also siding with animal-rights campaigners against the use of such animals in performance in film, theatre and, of course, the circus. Just to refresh readers memories we list our top 10 celebrities.

Rouster's Top 10 Celebrity Hypocrites

1. ????

It has been noticed that we, in fact, left out a number one celebrity in our list. Who could have this special spot? Virginia McKenna for the way she has used her career-saving appearance in "Born Free" with trained wild animals to create a "charity" that gets funds for fighting against the industry of training animals? Roger Moore for working with trained animals in a lot of his films - most notably "Octopussy" that featured an animal circus? No, as fate would have it, we now have somebody who we feel can be awarded this place. 

Therefore, this award goes to Amanda Holden.


To start with she spent several years between 2006 and 2008 working on the popular ITV family drama "Wild at Heart". The series, set in Africa, was the story of a British vet who relocates to South Africa to manage a game reserve and set up a veterinary hospital. The series featured many human habituated and trained native wild animals. However, she is also a patron of the animal-rights charity The Born Free Foundation which is against the use of animals in zoos, circuses and entertainment.

On a recent edition of the ITV magazine programme "This Morning" she tried to take to task animal trainer Thomas Chipperfield regarding his care and management of his group of trained big cats, who were touring the UK in a show called "An Evening with Lions and Tigers". Chipperfield pointed out that Amanda Holden was a patron for the animal-rights group, the Born Free Foundation, but had taken acting roles in a television series that featured wild trained animals. Holden became quite animated regarding the suggestion and snapped back at Thomas that the animals were "rescued from people like you". To which Mr Chipperfield responded that actually he knew the people involved in the series and that the animals were in fact trained. The Daily Mirror quickly reported the spat online.

Of course, Rouster isn't the only one to be reporting the anomalies within the show business fraternity regarding their attitude towards animals. Recently, "Lord of the Rings" and "Sherlock" actor Martin Freeman took it upon himself to become a spokesperson for PETA and wrote to the British Prime Minister David Cameron and asked him why he hadn't banned the use of wild animals in circuses. The fact that Freeman has worked within many films and television series using trained animals did not seem to strike him as hypocritical. Furthermore, the film that has helped propel his career to new heights, "The Hobbit", was targeted and picketed by PETA for it use of trained animals to the extent that director Peter Jackson felt the need to attack back, branding Freeman's new buddies as "pathetic".

Writing in the Huffington Post, Douglas McPherson, author of the book Circus Mania, also takes Freeman to task for his position against animals in circuses. McPherson also took time to take our number one hypocrite Amanda Holden to task for her behaviour on the recent ITV's "This Morning" shown and PETA supporter and actor Robert Carlyle for his distorted views on the lives of animals living within the circus community.

It would be nice to think that this recent trend in presenting the actual facts to the public (rather than celebrity opinion) regarding the welfare of animals in circuses, is finally accepted by the media. Let us hope so!

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
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