Heywood and Middleton Residents Urged to Shun Wild Animal Circus

Animal Defenders International logoAnimal Defenders International (ADI) is calling on locals to avoid Circus Mondao whilst it performs in Heywood and Middleton, Manchester. The circus is one of two which still feature wild animal acts, an outdated practice which is overwhelmingly opposed by the public and animal experts.

Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International, said: “Animal Defenders International has repeatedly documented the suffering and abuse of animals in circuses. Circuses simply cannot meet the needs of animals in small, mobile accommodation. You can help stop the suffering – don’t go to a circus with animals.”

Given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Welfare is always compromised.

Expert analysis of scientific evidence commissioned by the Welsh Government and undertaken by Professor Steven Harris at Bristol University last year concluded, “The available scientific evidence indicates that captive wild animals in circuses and other travelling animal shows do not achieve their optimal welfare requirements.” The report stated that “Life for wild animals in travelling circuses… does not appear to constitute either a ‘good life’ or a ‘life worth living’”.

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) has concluded “there is by no means the possibility that their [wild mammals in travelling circuses’] physiological, mental and social requirements can adequately be met.”

The British Veterinary Association concludes that “The welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus – in terms of housing or being able to express normal behaviour.”

As well as vets, the continued use of wild animals in circuses is widely opposed by animal welfare experts, animal protection groups, politicians and a huge majority of the public. In response to a consultation by Defra on the issue, 94.5% of respondents supported a ban.

35 countries around the world have introduced prohibitions on animals in circuses to date. In the UK, the Scottish Government has recently introduced a bill to ban wild animal acts, while a similar commitment for England has yet to progress, despite legislation being drafted, scrutinised and ready to go.

Over 200 local authorities in the UK have prohibited wild or all animal acts on public land and opinion polls consistently show that the public remains overwhelmingly opposed to wild animal acts, with a high proportion against all animal acts.

Despite assurances from the circus industry that animals are well cared for, the physical and psychological health of animals in circuses is inevitably compromised. Animals in circuses can also be subjected to brutal training methods and violence – wherever ADI has conducted an undercover investigation in the UK and around the world it has documented acts of abuse.

Animal circuses do nothing to teach people about the animals’ real needs and the way they live, and have no role to play in education or conservation.

Please visit www.ad-international.org for more information.

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