A global animal welfare organization says the government is turning its back on abuse to circus animals in the UK and instead recommending that circuses regulate themselves.
For the past 15 years, Animal Defenders International has provided documentation to officials about the tortuous lives of circus animals in the UK.
Their undercover videos show elephants routinely being beaten and abused and other animals languishing away in cages.
The organization called for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and for a short time it looked hopeful that the government would take action. Legislation was drawn up, 143 MP’s endorsed the ban and a final answer was promised by June.
But now the government appears to have turned its back on circus animals. They are taking advice from a pro circus organization called Performing Animals Welfare Standards International (PAWSI) and leaning toward a policy that would have circuses regulate and police themselves.
ADI says, “Self-regulation cannot work in an industry where random acts of violence and cruelty are commonplace and there is no discipline, structure, and no way to enforce regulations.”
Last year ADI released undercover video of abuse at the Great British Circus.
The video showed “frightened, stressed elephants being brutally hit in the face with elephant metal hooks, brooms and pitchforks,” reported ADI.
ADI released the video to the public, but PAWSI defended the actions of the circus and refused to release the name of the employee who abused the elephants.
Another aspect in support of a ban comes from the compassion of the British public. In May 2010, a government survey asked people about a ban on the use of all wild animals in British circuses.
A whopping 94.5 percent of the public, who responded to the questionnaire, were in favor of halting the practice.
ADI has stepped up its Circus Campaign and is calling for public and political support. They are re-releasing the video depicting cruelty to circus animals so the government cannot ignore what life is really like for these innocent animals.
And they have prepared postcards for the public to order and send to authorities. They can be ordered by e-mail: email@example.com.
ADI hopes the UK will show the same compassion toward circus animals as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Singapore, Bolivia, Costa Rica, India and Israel. Each of these countries have prohibited or limited animals from the circus.
Animal Defenders International