On 31st May 2011, Animal Aid joined forces with nine other animal protection organisations to call on the Prime Minister to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. In recent weeks, Defra announced that it cannot introduce such a ban because of a lawsuit taking place in Austria. However, there is no such lawsuit and Defra had to admit a 'mistake'. ...read more...
However on 6th May 2011, The Independent reports : "Downing Street has blocked plans by ministers to ban lions, tigers and other wild animals from performing in circuses, according to animal welfare groups."
In May 2011 it was reported that there were 39 wild animals (including tigers, lions, camels, zebras and crocodiles) being used in UK circuses. There are also 'domestic' animals, including cats, horses and dogs who also endure captivity, training and touring. Harvey Locke, President of the British Veterinary Association, says "These shows can never meet creatures' needs". The Independent, Monday, 16 May 2011.
Contact the Animal Rights Calendar to provide details of animal circus tour dates, venues, proposed demos or press reports and the Captive Animals Protection Society, from whom you can order leaflets and posters for demos or for distribution on stalls, or for local shop keepers to display in place of circus publicity.
If you are available to leaflet during the circus touring season, or if you learn of a circus touring near you, also contact Animal Defenders International.
Many circus tours follow the same circuit each season but, where 2012 dates are not yet known the dates from 2011 are shown to give an indication of possible locations. You might like to contact these potential venues to politely ask them not to host animal circuses again.
This information is compiled by volunteers, as we make no profit from animal abuse, or by campaigning against it. We apologise for any errors or delays in updating the details.
Check for venues in your area and adapt this Sample Letter to get the circus canceled:
It has come to my attention that you allow an animal circus to hold performances on your land. Many council have adopted a ban on animal circuses, so your support for this continuing cruelty is horrendous.
Not only are you ignoring the issue of animal welfare - and rights - but you are obviously out of touch with the general feelings of people in society on this matter.
Animal circuses are inherently cruel and should be a thing of the past. These animals, who should be free in their natural habitats, spend 22hours a day locked in cages in the back of trailers. They are forced to perform unnatural tricks, which can cause severe pain and permanent joint damage, just for the entertainment of a few people. You cannot make an animal do that with kindness - evidence shows that they are beaten into submission and only perform through fear (no matter what circus owners may tell you!).
I urge you to cancel the cruel circus, and to include an animal circus ban in your company policies. Otherwise I will be forced to boycott your premises, and encourage my friends and family to spend their money elsewhere too.
Thank you for your time, I look forward to your reply.
Because of the large number of complaints Captive Animals' Protection Society receive about this circus (particularly about the horses - despite what may have been said in parliament and the media recently, domesticated animals - not just wild animals - do suffer in circuses!) and the number of people who come out of the circus upset, CAPS has produced a 'public complaint slip' that can be given to people who come out of the circus and say how upset they are. So if you're holding demos at any circus please contact CAPS for a copy of the slip. Preferably get people to fill the info in straight away and give it to you at the demo, or ask them to send the info direct to CAPS.
A visitor to the circus comments:
"Domestic animals are one thing but wild animals are another, I was horrified to see a camel and an elephant. The worst part of the whole ordeal was during the interval when they brought out the "retired" elephant to let people pay £5 each to have their picture taken with it. Shockingly enough numerous people took them up on this offer."
The following venues were visited last season. You may wish to contact venues to check that they no longer support cruel circuses. Many venues were canceled during 2011 after details of two month's venues were released on Indymedia
March 2011 24 - 27: Circus Site, Leamington Road, Kenilworth - A46/A452 Thickthorn Roundabout
30 - 3 April: The Heath, Manchester Road, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 0LY
6 - 10: Daily demos at the Circus Site, Nr Greyhound Roundabout (A580) Glazebury, Leigh, Wigan WN7 3XQ
19 -25: Circus Site - Spital Farm, Straxton Roundabout A64, Scarborough
1 - 5: Racecourse - High Gosforth Park Racecourse, Newcastle. NewcastleAR noise demonstration 1pm-5pm Saturday 4th June 7 - 8: Shielfield Park, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 2EF
10 - 12: Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston West Car Park, Edinburgh EH28 8NB
9 - 13: Cardross, Westerhill Farm, Cardross Road, G62 5EW
15 - 17: Largs, North Ayrshire
1 - 4: Warren Farm Equestrian Centre, Southport Old Road, Formby, Liverpool L37 0AN. Demo held on 3rd.
8 - 11: Neston, Circus Site, Chester High Road / Corner of Raby Park Road CH64 7TT - demo details
13 - 18: Chorley, Lancashire
This is small circus started in 2008, staying around the South East. They are lobbying to "save circuses with animals". They say "Circuses started with animals and I believe that that way of life should be preserved or yet another of this country’s traditions will die" - just like bear bating, dog fighting, and slavery.