The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Great Britain, Do What Australia Has Done

A controversial travelling circus that uses elephants and lions in its shows has been criticised by politicians and animal rights campaigners in Kent.

Martin Lacey’s Great British Circus, which boasts of having the largest collection of wild animals touring the country, came to Tunbridge Wells this week for series of performances that end this evening.

Animal Aid, the UK’s largest animal rights group, which is based in Tonbridge, held demonstrations at the circus site in Southborough yesterday evening and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, calling for an end to exploiting animals for “entertainment”.

“Life in a circus is completely inappropriate and cruel for wild animals,” a spokeswoman for the group said.

“All animals deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and have the right to live freely.

“Instead, the Great British Circus continues to keep them confined in cages, transport them all around the country and parade them around the ring for the amusement of paying punters.

“The only ‘Great’ thing about this circus is the suffering it inflicts.”

Long-time animal welfare campaigner Roger Gale, the Tory MP for Thanet North, said there was no place for wild animals in circuses.

“The exotic types such as tigers, seals, elephants and the like, I can see no justification for their use. I have always been against that,” said Mr Gale, who is president of the Conservative Animal Welfare Group.

“They will say the Animal Welfare Act means conditions are much more strict but in terms of the wild animals I don’t care what conditions are like they should not be there at all.

“Big or small they are not designed to perform in circuses.”

He said there was a case for domestic animals like dogs and horses to perform in circuses, as long as they were kept in good conditions, but not wild animals.

The Great British Circus tours with three elephants, tigers, lions, zebras, camels, llamas, horses, ponies, goats and reindeer.

The Lincolnshire-based circus is the last in the UK to parade big cats and one of just three that still uses wild animals.

Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party and a South East MEP, said: “I join with International Animal Rescue, Animal Aid in Tonbridge, and other animal welfare campaigners in calling on local people who are concerned about animal welfare to stay away from this sad display.

“The once-popular travelling freak shows have been relegated to the past where they belong, and now the EU must ensure the same fate for animal circuses.”

Dr Lucas, who is vice president RSPCA, has been using her position in the EU to work towards ending the use of animals in circuses.

“In the wild, large animals such as big cats are social creatures, living and travelling in groups or herds.

“In circuses, they live in mobile wagons and often spend most of the day chained up. If they are lucky, they might have access to a grassed electric fenced enclosure or slightly larger exercise area,” she said.

“This lifestyle prevents them from being able to perform natural behaviours like hunting, playing and grooming, increasing the likelihood of abnormal behaviours such as rocking, swaying, and pacing.”

Martin Lacey, director of the circus, said a recent Government report supported the case for using wild animals in circuses.

He said there was not animal cruelty and a DEFRA report did not dispute they received the best possible care and attention.

“The people of Kent like to see animals in classical circus, and are quite capable of making up their own minds about the way we care for our animals without the so-called 'advice' from animal welfare organisations who base their flimsy arguments on hearsay, myth and untruths,” Mr Lacey added.

The first global study of animal welfare in circuses, which was led by researcher Stephen Harris of the University of Bristol, concluded recently that elephants, lions and tigers are the wild animals least suited to life in a circus.""


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