Your Guide to the Reality of Animal Circus



"The academic panel concluded that there appears to be little evidence to demonstrate that the welfare of animals kept in travelling circuses is any better or worse than that of animals kept in other captive environments" - Executive Summary of the DEFRA Circus Working Group 2007

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Virginia McKenna and the Forgotten Story of "Born Free"


Cover of "Born Free"
Cover of Born Free
 The 18th of April bore witness to the televising of perhaps one of the most stunning examples of animal rights double standards that Rouster has seen for quite a while.
A new award ceremony known as the "British Animals Honours" bestowed perhaps their most prestigious award on Virginia McKenna for "Outstanding Contribution". Presenter, Paul O'Grady, who regularly books trained animals - both domestic and wild - for his television show "The Paul O'Grady Show", told the audience and viewers that "Every one of our winners deserves our admiration, but none more so than our final honour". Virginia McKenna is known to the majority of the general public as a loveable old movie actress who now dedicates most of her time to supposedly saving animals through her Born Free Foundation. McKenna's radical stance against both animal circuses and zoos is well-known. She has never worried about aligning herself with organizations like PETA* (who were declared a terrorist threat by USDA in 2009), the HSUS and others in the hugely controversial case against Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.

On several occasions, McKenna has declared that she wants all animals to be free from captivity. This is in the face of the fact that several wild animals are critically endangered in the wild with many facing immediate extinction and McKenna's own organization running sanctuaries that keep captive animals. Nevertheless, she raises millions by using images of exotic wild animals, often lions that can be immediately associated the film title that inspired the name of her "Born Free Foundation", and lives a very comfortable life for a film actress whose acting career has been, at best, very sporadic since the 1960s.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Mark Pritchard - Conservative MP for The Wrekin

"There are quite a few wild animals still being used in British circuses I think they are housed in cruel and cramped conditions and transported in similar conditions.Mark Pritchard MP



The above statement was made by MP Mark Pritchard on BBC local radio when being interviewed about the proposed draft legislation to ban wild animals in UK circuses by December 2015.

Pritchard has been an active campaigner against circuses for many years and he secured a debate in June 2011 to try and ban wild animals in UK circuses. 

Unfortunately, one would have hoped that by holding such strong opinions Pritchard would be keen to undertake some form of direct fact-finding examination of his beliefs in the above statement.  But, to the best of our knowledge, Mr Pritchard has not set foot in a contemporary circus to see how the animals are accommodated, transported or trained despite several invitations to do so by both circus proprietors and animal trainers.

Therefore, one asks: how can he make judgements about the health and welfare of these animals?  It seems sadly that he is happy to make a judgement based solely on the propaganda of various animal-rights groups that has been fed to him.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Old Habits Die Hard



From scantily clad "lettuce ladies" to allegations of slavery made against Sea World, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), has always taken the P.T. Barnum approach to publicity. This is somewhat ironic given that one of their favourite targets is Barnum's legacy. However, the group that proudly says "We are complete press sluts", were reluctant to claim that any publicity is good publicity when the  CCF (Center for Consumer Freedom) reported that the infamous animal rights group has killed nearly 30,000 animals.


The CCF, a civil liberties advocacy group, has always been a thorn in PETA's side. Using records kept by The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) they are able to publish annual reports showing the amount of cats and dogs taken in, rehomed, and euthanized by PETA. The most recent numbers show that between 1998 and 2012, the group received 33,658 animals and that 29,398 (92.4%) of those were destroyed.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Real Animal Circus - an Interview with...


It is a sad fact that most of the “information” available to the public about animals in Circus is generated by people and organisations with no links whatsoever nor personal knowledge of Circus.

Extremists (who believe that any human interaction with animals is an abomination) use ancient, foreign or doctored photos to “prove” that animals are being mistreated. Organisations, whose funding depends on the public believing that animals need their financial support, launch campaigns based on catchy slogans and very little factual content. The public are bombarded with misinformation trying to convince them that atrocities are taking place – and that they need to pay, pay and pay some more to stop them.

Meanwhile, Circus animals and trainers are subjected to what can only be classified as terrorism.
Verbal abuse, threats, vandalism and even attacks on the animals themselves – the extremists are willing to take any steps to “stop the cruelty”. It is a mad situation.