Legendary actor calls on government to "end this circus madness"
Legendary actor Brian Blessed has urged the British government to finally ban
the use of wild animals in circuses as Animal Defenders International reveals
that the only and much criticised big cat act will not be touring Britain this
Brian Blessed said "I am deeply opposed to the use of wild animals in circuses
and have been working with Animal Defenders International to oppose such acts
for many years. Despite repeated promises from the Government, we are still
waiting for the law to pass and the animals are continuing to suffer. Please end
this circus madness."
Back in 2011, Brian made a similar plea following the shocking ADI
exposé of Anne, Britain's last circus elephant. He joined ADI and a
delegation of MPs to present a letter to the UK Prime Minister calling for a
ban. At the time he said, "now is the time for the government to legislate and
put a stop, once and for all, to the draconian and humiliating spectacle of wild
animals in circuses."
Four years on and we are still waiting for a ban, although changing attitudes
and greater awareness of how animals are kept, trained and treated, through
investigations by ADI and others, has seen the number of wild animal circuses
continue to fall. Just two now perform in Britain with such acts.
One act that has attracted widespread criticism and local protests is presented
by Thomas Chipperfield, a relative of the notorious Mary Chipperfield who was
prosecuted for animal cruelty following an ADI investigation. His lion and tiger
act, the only one in Britain, featured in Peter Jolly's Circus last year but ADI
can reveal that it will not be touring with a circus this year. Despite this,
the animals will likely remain in their temporary, confined living quarters.
Both whilst in
the circus and at their present overwintering
location in Scotland, ADI has documented how Chipperfield's lions and tigers
exhibit abnormal repetitive behaviour -- not seen in the wild but commonly
observed in circuses -- indicating compromised welfare. On seeing the footage,
Abraham and Simon
Adams had stated "Big cats are never meant to live like this" and "the
limited space available in a travelling circus is unsuitable to big cats".
In response to the lack of progress made since the British Government announced
it would ban the use of wild animals in circuses in 2012, Jim Fitzpatrick MP
introduced a Private Member's Bill which despite having cross-party support has
been blocked by Christchurch MP Christopher Chope on seven occasions. It will
have its next second reading on Friday 27 February.
Please help us secure the ban that has been promised to the public and the
· - Contact
William Hague MP,
Leader of the House of Commons, and ask him to allocate parliamentary time to
the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill:
· - Contact Prime
Minister David Cameron and ask him to fulfil the promise to end the use of wild animals in
travelling circuses and ensure Parliamentary time is given to the Wild Animals
in Circuses Bill:
· - Contact your MP in person if you
possibly can! Remember they probably support the Bill, but we need their help:
ask them to back the Bill and press the Government to allocate time for it; and
ensure their party is committed to a ban in their manifesto
· - Spread the word -- share our posts on facebook and twitter #notgivingup
Animal Defenders International
LONDON, SW1P 4QP, UK
tel. +44 (0)20 7630 3340
fax. +44 (0)20 7828 2179