‘Duty of care and responsibility of owners to be tested in landmark case’
Today at a preliminary hearing at Corby Magistrates Court, Bobby and Moira Roberts pleaded not guilty to offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to the mistreatment of “Anne”, who was the last remaining UK circus elephant.
A two day trial has now been set, starting on the 18 June 2012 at Corby Magistrates Court, then the following day at Kettering Magistrates Court.
Animal Defenders International (ADI), the animal protection organisation whose detailed investigation into the welfare of Anne and other animals at the winter quarters of the Roberts’ circus in Peterborough earlier this year has led to the trial, were present today at this landmark case.
Jan Creamer, ADI’s Chief Executive said: “We are pleased that, at long last this case will finally be heard and those ultimately responsible for the management of the business will now be scrutinized for their animal husbandry methods.
“This will be the first trial of a circus under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the case is extremely important, as it should clearly define that owners should take overall, ultimate responsibility for animals in their care, and will be an important test of whether the Act can protect animals in circuses.
“The legislation states that owners have a duty of care to protect their animals from harm and to provide a suitable environment, and even if members of staff are employed, the owners are required to take ultimate responsibility for the care of these animals.
“The duty of care of owners under the Act will be tested, and it will be interesting to see how this will be interpreted and enforced.”
Anne is a 58 year old female elephant brought from Sri Lanka to The Bobby Roberts Super Circus in the 1950s. Anne was subsequently transferred to a safari park with the owners’ consent.
Phil Buckley, Media Relations Director, Animal Defenders International, 07716 018250, 0207 630 3344, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS:
ADI’s detailed investigation took place from 21st January to 15th February 2011.
The private prosecution was commenced by ADI on 18th July 2011 at Northampton Magistrates Court.
Given the public concern over the case, the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed that the CPS take over and continue the legal proceedings against the Roberts. Mr and Mrs Roberts have been jointly charged with the following offences:
1. Causing the elephant to suffer unnecessarily, by requiring the elephant to be chained to the ground at all times, contrary to section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006
2. Failing to take reasonable steps to prevent their employee from causing unnecessary suffering to the elephant, by repeatedly beating it, contrary to section 4(2) of the same Act
3. Failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of the elephant were met to the extent required by good practice, contrary to section 9 of the same Act
Animal Defenders International With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues. http://www.ad-international.org
Message from: Danica Mirkovic – President - is as follows:
Winter is approaching fast, it is getting colder and colder every day and this chilly, wet weather affects almost all of my kitties so they are getting sick more often. Especially sensitive are the oldest cats, the chronic patients, and the new kitties that arrived this year and are not yet fully adapted to the life in the shelter. A virus is making rounds, causing fever, sneezing and discharge from the eyes. Older cats are not eating well and are lethargic – I honestly hope they can survive till spring. The fact that some of them are over 15 years old makes me even more preoccupied. One of my chronically ill kitties with FUS is in crisis again, like last year when he barely made it through the cold months. Many recently arrived kitties are already under treatment. With every new day new problems appear and it’s hard and exhausting for me but I won’t let my kitties down. Every kind of help is greatly appreciated and more than welcome.
Last winter was harsh, the shelter was snowed in and heating did not work. This year, the heat is on, but the number of cats is much greater and it will not be easy – there is a lot of work and a lot of worry again. I must admit I’m getting tired, but for the sake of my kitties I have to carry on fighting…
If you’d like to know more about the shelter and cats, please visit FB group
From: Dr.chem. CARMEN ARSENE Scientific Researcher and Member of FNPA in Romania
18 October 2011
Yesterday, PL 912 on the management of stray dogs has been debated in the Chamber of Deputies and the form containing aberrant, unconstitutional, illegal elements and of course killing stray dogs, established by the Commission for public administration was adopted to go for final vote. Also it was decided that the next day, Tuesday, the final vote be by secret vote!
Today the project has entered at the final vote in the Chamber of Deputies. To be adopted half + 1 of the deputies should vote, meaning 167, a number difficult to obtain taking intoaccount that opposition parties are opposed to the project and there is also deputies of the party in power, the PDL, who will not vote for killing.
Notice for this project the mobilization of the PDL. The members have been mobilized by pressure, by SMS, the most prominent PDL leaders came in plenum today to ensure by their presence the “security” of vote!
Our supporters (PSD and PNL representatives) have countereacted by their speeches the wills of PDL.
PSD President, Victor Ponta (the husband of Daciana Sarbu, MEP, initiator of the Written declaration no. 26 on dog population management that has just been adopted by the European Parliament) had again a speach and announced that PSD will not introduce the cards, clear delineating in this way by the PDL decision. Cristian Adomnitei and Eugen Nicolaescu, PNL representatives, have told about the will of the European Parliament expressed by adopting the Declaration no. 26.
Then the PDL realized they can not get the number of votes necessary for law to be adopted and asked for for a break “for consulting”. And they found it! By delaying the vote two weeks "to consult local councils and to collect signatures" (!!??).
They will benefit of 2 weeks and we must work much harder to countereact all their actions. Note that a few days PDL already started a campaign to collect signatures from citizens pro-euthanasia.
It is important to continue with protests by email and especially by fax:
Thank you again for all the efforts you make which contribute so much in the campaign against implementing mass euthanasia.
Romania is known worldwide for incredible acts of animal cruelty.
Healthy animal euthanasia is not agreed at EU level, nor is the method to solve the stray dogs problem. It is unacceptable that Romania, after 10 years in which hundreds of thousands of dogs have been killed, spending tens of millions of Euros from the tax payers, to want to apply the same barbaric and ineffective method.
As adopted by the Committee for Public Administration, Territorial Planning and Ecological Balance, the law contains absurd and unconstitutional provisions, stops any chance that the problem of stray dogs ever to be solved, obstruct and discourage adoptions, gives power for control and sanction to the dog catchers, gives the possibility to any dog catcher to take any dog with owner and kill it.
We urge you to reject this project in the form adopted by the Commission for Public Administration and to adopt a coherent, efficient and civilized program: Neuter, Identification& controlled Return as the control of reproduction, combined with education in responsible dog ownership, being the only practical and permanent solution – according the recommendations of Committee of technical experts from World Health Organization, Geneva and according the adopted Written Declaration no. 26 by the Europan Parliament (in 13 October 2011).
Fax: 00 40 21 3134931; 00 40 21 3146934 - Chamber of Deputies - Parliament of Romania
Fax: 00 40 21 319.31.31 - Mr. Traian Basescu, President of Romania
Fax: 00 40 21 313 98 46 - Mr. Emil Boc, Prim-minister of Romania
Fax: 00 32 2 2854141 - European Peoples Party - where PD-L party is member
Fax: 00 40 21 4141156 - Committee for Legal Matters, Discipline and Immunities Chamber of Deputies from
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