Archive for Animal Cruelty
news.sky.com 1st June 2011
Shocked rescuers, acting on a tip-off about three dogs whimpering in cages, have discovered a stray collie buried alive on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The dog, nicknamed Star, had been bound, shot in the head 40 times with a high-powered pellet gun at close range, and buried. Her snout had also been wired shut. Star was whisked off to the local veterinary hospital and is now said to be in good health. A facebook page dedicated to her, called Star:the dog that lived, and already has 50,000 members. It also hopes to raise awareness to animal cruelty in general. The police are now searching for the people responsible for Star’s awful experience.
www.guardian.co.uk 19th May 2011
The argument over whether to ban animals performing in circuses has become even more contentious as, it appears, the lawsuit that Environment Minister Jim Paice used to justify not enacting the ban doesn’t even exist yet. Following a campaign by The Independent newspaper to stop animals in circuses, galvanised in part by the horrific beatings experienced by Anne the Asian elephant at Bobby Roberts Super Circus (pictured), Mr Paice MP claimed that a ban was not possible due to a lawsuit between the European Circus Association and the Austrian government. He also added that it could be against the UK Human Rights Act. Fearing a similar legal issue in the UK, a ban was not possible. With the new revelation that the case does not actually exist, Mr Paice made the extraordinary statement that if you don’t like watching lions and elephants performing in circuses, then don’t go. MPs from all parties rounded on Mr Paice with Caroline Lucas branding the government ‘cowardly’ on the issue. There are 39 animals used in UK circuses today including lions, tigers, crocodiles, zebras and camels. There are no elephants after the retirement of Anne.
news.sky.com 10th May 2011
The animal rights charity, Animal Defenders International, has announced that the elephant used in the film ‘Water for Elephants’, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, was beaten and given electric shocks by the company that supplied it for the film. 6 year old footage has been produced of Tai, a 42 year old Asian elephant, being abused by a group of people believed to be from the Have Trunk Will Travel company. An elephant that is believed to be Tai is shown crying out when being shocked with hand-held stun guns in order to make her perform a headstand. A baby elephant also cries out when its lip is caught with a metal hook. The producers, stars, and trainers involved with ‘Water for Elephants’ have all come out to say Tai was treated ‘with kindness and positive reinforcements’ while on set. To support their statements, the charity American Humane, who watched how animals were treated during filming, awarded the production the highest mark for animal welfare. The producers of the film also said that they toured the Have Trunk Will Travel facility and “never once witnessed any abuse or even heard a verbal command given to the elephants that was above a whisper.” Have Trunk Will Travel also denied the claims saying, ”the video shows heavily edited and very short snippets, obviously taken surreptitiously six years ago, purporting mistreatment of our elephants. If there was truly any abuse going on, why wait six minutes, much less six years?”
Watch the ADI’s clip here.
www.independent.co.uk 7th May 2011
Quoted from source:
‘Thousands of people have backed The Independent’s call for a ban on wild animals performing in circuses. As we revealed yesterday, Downing Street is understood to have blocked advanced plans by the Department for Environment for a ban. Almost 3,000 readers signed our online petition, while hundreds more left messages of support on the social networking site Twitter and our website. Among the comments on Twitter was “animals belong in the wild, not in the circus”. Around 20 animals perform in British circuses, including five tigers. All three circuses which use them – the Great British Circus, Peter Jolly’s and Circus Mondao – say the animals are well cared for by their trainers. Animal welfare groups and vets say enclosures are smaller than those in zoos, constant travel and performances in front of loud crowds make wild animals unsuitable for the big top. Their suspicions the Government would not agree a ban intensified last month when it failed to announce one during the row about pictures showing Anne the elephant being beaten at Bobby Roberts Super Circus. Virginia McKenna, who played the conservationist Joy Adamson in the film Born Free, said: “If the Government hasn’t thought it through, the public has – more than nine out of ten of us say a resounding no to the continued exploitation of wild animals in circuses in the name of so-called ‘entertainment’.”
To sign The Independent’s petition, visit independent.co.uk/circusanimals.
www.independent.co.uk 13th November 2010
In a series of secretive moves the coalition government has scrapped or delayed a host of animal rights laws that were introduced by the Labour government. The affected laws, some only weeks away from being passed, include a ban on mutilating chickens’ beaks so that they could not peck each other in enclosed environments such as battery farms. The RSPCA described the practice as “an insult to hens’ welfare.” Another law would have banned game birds from being kept in cages. An additional move has seen the Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) drop a series of charges against abattoir operators for animal cruelty. Footage, caught by the environmentalist group Animal Aid, showed abattoir workers kicking cattle, pigs and sheep but DEFRA said that such evidence would not hold up in court as it was obtained by trespassing. Tim Smith, head of the Food Standards Agency, which enforces slaughterhouse standards, described the images as: “the cruelty on show is the worst I have seen.” DEFRA has also postponed a ban on using wild animals in circuses. There are currently some 40 tigers, elephants, zebras, and other animals forced to do tricks for circuses in the UK. The ban was first put forward by Labour minister Jim Fitzpatrick after a poll showed 95% of the public supported the idea. All these moves were instigated by the Agricultural minister James Paice, who owns a farm in Cambridgeshire. He is also behind the government’s overturning of Labour’s opposition to a badger cull.
To watch Animal Aid’s film please click here. Some viewers may find the footage upsetting.
www.nationalgeographic.com 21st October 2010
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has declared that the USA needs a centralised federal database to monitor tigers in captivity. According to the wildlife charity, there are now more of the big cats in captivity in the US (5000+) than there are wild (c. 3200). Furthermore, loose regulation for keeping tigers could be fueling the international black-market demand for tiger parts in traditional medicines, particularly in Asia. Among the findings of the WWF report are these comments:
- A patchwork of federal laws governs the possession, sale and exhibition of captive tigers. However, due to a host of exceptions exemptions, and loopholes, federal agencies charged with implementing these laws have no mandate to maintain a current inventory of how many tigers are in the country, where they are, who possesses them, when they die or how they are disposed of.
- 17 states allow the keeping of tigers by individuals with a state permit or registration (Iowa, Oregon and Washington recently banned tiger possession but have systems in place to regulate tigers that were grandfathered in prior to enactment of the bans).
- 8 states have no laws on captive tigers.
- 28 states have laws banning the possession of tigers in private collections.
With the gathering of global leaders for the Global Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg next month, the WWF hopes that US authorities will be galvanised into action over this relatively unknown subject. Captive tigers are frequently kept in very poor conditions and then sold off in pieces after death.