Take Action for Suffering Elephants in UK

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: info@ad-international.org.  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


Mollie Tucker
Mollie Tucker5 years ago

Mankind's inhumanity to his (no emphasis on a particular sex intended) or her fellow creatures is characterised as being extremely cruel and brutal behaviour. Circuses using wild animals are out-of-date and out-of-step with current thinking and the use of elephants as demonstrated is not only unlawful, but savage in the extreme. I am a citizen of the UK, resident in Australia, and find it hard to believe that the Government in the UK has not yet outlawed the practice. These elephants should be relocated to free range zoos where possible and allowed to live out the rest of their lives in peace. Goading, bullying and torturing animals to force them to comply with our wishes is a disgrace to humanity.

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson5 years ago

Isaac Bashevis Singer Nobel Peace Prize Winner wrote in his book, 'Enemies a love story', "As often has Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought. In their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazi’s. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplify the most extreme racist theories the principle that might is right. Lest we forget!

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago


LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago


Manel Dias
Manel Dias5 years ago

These Majestic Elephants are being brutalized by the so called animal trainers. Those who are constantly hitting these innocent animals are not supposed to be humans. They are the living Evils. Those countries Governments should get involve with this industry to guide them and protect the defenceless animals who are totally trapped in the hell holes of circuses. The Protection of Elephants is protecting the mother earth for all the people of this planet. This is the British Governements responsibility to protect endangered Asian elephants and lookafter their welfare. The era has come to realize that the exploiting of wild animals for the purpose of peoples amusement and for the profit is no longer acceptable. Need to remove the Elephants from circuses around and acroos the world. We need to protect them and not destroy them. I want my children and grand children to enjoy the learning of wilderness with live wildlife in them. Save the planet earth for the sake of our own future generations.

Joe R.
Joe R5 years ago

Good article. Thanks.

Charles Webb
Charles Webb6 years ago

Charge the offeders and leave well enough alone. We don't ban activities because there are a few bad apples.

Mary Jean B.
M.J. Berling7 years ago

Lets not have any animals in the circus. Its a horrible life for them, always caged and moving and being mistreated!

Mervi R.
Mervi R7 years ago

I think ALL animals need to be banned from circuses now.

Juan Pablo de la Torre

Who voted No?