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Wild Animals Banned from British Circuses?

Undercover footage of a circus elephant being beaten by handlers for no reason has played a role in the recent commitment in Britain to ban wild animals from circuses. The elephant is named Anne; it has been reported that due to the scandal, she will be released from the circus and relocated to an animal sanctuary.

When the abuse footage hit the Internet and was available for millions to see the terrible treatment of the poor elephant, a predictable response from the circus was that it was merely a rogue employee behaving badly; this did little to quell the furor. In fact, if you can stomach a viewing, you can see aggression such as kicking directed at other animals within the camera’s view. It appears any animal within range of the camera was probably subjected to some degree of abuse.

Circuses exploiting animals to make money–and abusing them with beatings, chaining them for twenty-four hours a day, and keeping them in cramped cages–is behavior that will no longer be legally allowed in Britain. Anne the elephant is 57 years old, and one can easily imagine many of those years were too full of abuse, neglect and stress from the circus. There won’t be any law suits to demand justice and compensation for all the animals that have been abused and killed over the previous decades of circus operations.

British officials are working with Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, to finish details of the policy related to the legislation so that there won’t be any conflicts. An announcement from her is expected within weeks about the new ban. A public survey last year revealed 94 percent of 10,000 people favored a ban on animals in circuses. Previous legislation regarding wild animals did not cover those used in circuses, and their animal welfare provisions were not effective.

In Bolivia the same ban has been implemented,and has been supported with a donation of two million dollars by Bob Barker. His very genorous contribution actually went to Animal Defenders International who helped relocate 25 former circus lions from Bolivia to an animal sanctuary in Colorado.

Another sad fact about circus animals is that there are typically no, or very inadequate, provisions for their post-circus life. Once they are too old or become disobedient they are simply abandoned. You can do your part for circus animals by boycotting ones that still use them.

Image Credit: Public Domain

Related Links

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Circus Animal Ban Aided by Bob Barker

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176 comments

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10:19AM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

Please stop using animals in the circus!!! Thanks.

3:21AM PST on Jan 12, 2013

I fully agree with Michele and Caroline.

4:17AM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

NO animals should be in the circus!

5:10AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

No more circuses with animals. Thanks, Bob barker!

6:09PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

We need to let our local leaders know we do not want any circuses with animals coming to our towns and neighborhood.We need to let state leaders know the same Tell congress to pass laws banning animals from circuses and include heavy financial penalties to those who ignore it Use the fines to give to sanctuaries that are properly caring and protecting the animals How do we shut down shrine circus,ringling brothers,cole circus and who ever else is out there????

6:07PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

It was well known in India and the old logging camps of Burma that elephants never forget someone who was cruel to them or who teased them. The elephant would bide their time until days or weeks later they would suddenly have their revenge and an end to their suffering. It was always terminal. Treat a female elephant kindly and with sincerity, and you will have a friend for life. After all, isn`t that the way that we too would like to be treated ?

5:20PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

I wish this could happwn all over the worls, not only in Bolivia or UK. There should be no animals in circuses, or any other so called entertainments to amuse humans either.Instead, let us fight for FREEDOM FOR EVERY ANIMAL! Thank you.

3:45PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Just like you Alicia, no video for me....but thank you to those who help, particularly Bob Barker for that matter..

2:07PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Thank you.

10:40AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

I wish the United States would catch up to Europe with advances in animal welfare. I mean, really, we still have battery cages, circuses, and all of that. I am so happy that these advances are going on elsewhere in the world though.

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