A shocking undercover video released in August 2009 by Animal Defenders International, documented violent and abusive treatment by the Great British Circus to elephants in the show. The video sparked an outcry from the public to ban wild animals from the circus and with the support from the government that was called “crystal clear,” legislation was proposed.
One year later, UK citizens are still waiting for action and ADI has renewed its campaign to get EDM 403 passed.
A story from the ADI website reported that in 2006, the UK government “made a commitment to end the use of wild animals in circuses.” ADI waited until 2009 for action that never materialized. That’s when the activist organization installed a camera into the elephant tent at the circus and recorded the daily lives of the animals.
Their video revealed the elephants were kept in a small pen in a tent most of the time and every night they were chained by a front and back leg which made even small movements almost impossible.
The investigation also showed that the elephants were routinely abused. They were hit in the face with a metal elephant hook, a broom and a pitchfork and one worker painfully twisted an elephant’s tail. The animals were shown to back away and cry out loud when they were mistreated.
The Great British Circus blamed the abuse on one employee and quickly fired him. But the uproar from the public made it impossible for the government to ignore and legislation was proposed – as they did in 2006.
A poll conducted in March 2010, showed that 94.5 percent of the public backs a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.
Soon after that announcement, ADI reported that parliamentarians across all parties agreed to pursue the ban. But the legislation has not moved forward and instead has gotten stuck in debates and inaction.
Animal Defenders International has called for an ACTION ALERT to get EDM 403 Wild Animals in Circuses, back on track and stop the abuse to performing animals.
They are asking supporters to contact their MP (Member of Parliament) and make it clear that EDM 403 must be enacted. The organization has pre-printed postcards that can be obtained at their website or by e-mailing: email@example.com. Postcards and other correspondence may be mailed to – The House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
ADI works worldwide to stop all forms of cruelty to animals. Their work to stop the abuse of circus animals in the UK is part of a global campaign called Stop Circus Suffering.
The following video is footage from the undercover investigation conducted by Animal Defenders International.
Creative Commons - Angela elephant
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