Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


'Circus MADNESS' Shocking video shows tigers caged and 'pacing' in tiny cells IN THE UK

July 1, 2014 Express.co.uk

The big cats were filmed in their tiny cells at one of only two British circuses still with performing wild animals.
The tiger can be seen pacing back and forth in the small cell and the lion also shows similar signs of "stereotypical" behaviour which is thought to reveal animals suffering from stress. The film of the beast wagon at Peter Jolly’s Circus was taken by pressure group Animal Defenders International.

Images also emerged of llamas kept tethered in full view of the big cats and filmed circus acts including a fox riding a donkey and two lions and tigers being made to sit on their hind legs and jump between podiums.

During the show, a tiger was also made to sit upright on a glitter ball, and a lion to ‘kiss’ circus owner Thomas Chipperfield. He is a relative of Mary Chipperfield who in 1999 was convicted of cruelty to a chimpanzee while her husband Roger Cawley was convicted of cruelty to an elephant. Speaking about the conviction of his second cousin, Mr Chipperfield said: "That’s not me and I  can only speak for myself."

He pointed out that there have been only seven prosecutions of circus trainers in the past 130 years, adding: "I doubt if that’s  one per cent of the trainers in Britain in that time" – and asks people not  to judge his profession by the actions of individuals.

To counter claims that circus training is inherently cruel, Chipperfield has posted a video diary on YouTube showing how he trained the nine-month-old Tsavo and another lion, Assegai, using patience and reward over a long period of time.

ADI called on David Cameron to prevent cruelty by honouring the Government's promise to introduce a complete ban on wild animals in circuses. A bill to outlaw wild animals in circuses has been stalled and instead a temporary licensing system with inspections has been introduced. But ADI president, Jan Creamer said its investigations showed that the licensing system cannot safeguard the welfare of circus animals.

She said: “Government inaction is taking its toll on these animals. The lions and tigers at Peter Jolly’s Circus, and other wild animals still being made to tour and perform with the last two circuses with such acts, need our urgent help. "ADI calls on the Prime Minister to honour his promise and bring in a ban on wild animals in circuses without delay.”

ADI said that Peter Jolly's Circus has two lions and three tigers, Nadia aged 18 and two aged three and four. It said in the wild Nadia would have would lead a solitary life, roaming over a territory of up to 180 sq miles. But ADI said: "In the circus Nadia and the other big cats are forced to live in cages on the back of their transporter, known as a ‘beastwagon’, where they spend most of their time, in close proximity to one another."

A spokesman for Peter Jolly's Circus, which is currently in Middlewich, Cheshire, rejected ADI's claims of cruelty. He said: "Under the licensing system Defra inspects us seven times a year, with some of the visits unannounced. "We were inspected by an inspector and a vet only last week without any problems. "We have to stick to really strict guidelines which include enrichment and exercise. We have passed every single time. "Defra also does stress tests and assesses the animal's physical and mental health. Our animals are absolutely fine

"The film does not show an enclosure and a swimming pool where the animals can exercise. "We have an open door policy and anyone is welcome to come have a look for themselves."

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it still intends to ban wild animals in circuses. He said: “We are committed to banning the use of wild animals in circuses and will introduce legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

“As we work towards a ban we have a strict system in place to ensure the welfare of all 23 circus animals in England – this includes announced and unannounced inspections, care plans for every animal, regular veterinary inspections and a retirement plan for each animal.”