Circuses have been around since ancient times. People will come to these shows from all over to enjoy the various forms of entertainment they provide, including trapeze acts, acrobats, jugglers, and tightrope walkers. Another aspect of the circus people come to see and perhaps anticipate the most is the animal acts. These animals are often exotic and are normally found in the wild, such as tigers, lions, and elephants, which are trained to do a variety of acts and stunts that one would not typically expect of that animal.
However, there is a darker side to the circus as well. Though the animals may appear to be treated perfectly fine during the show, behind closed doors is usually a different story. One story, as told by Animal Defenders International (ADI), involves the Bobby Roberts Super Circus in the UK.
The animal protection organization secured a video camera for over three and a half weeks in a barn where the animals from the circus are kept when not touring to find out what was going on behind the scenes. The footage showed an elderly, severely arthritic 57 year old elephant named Annie chained for extensive periods of time, being hit by workers with a metal pitchfork, and being kicked and punched a total of 48 times over the period the footage was taken. This abuse took place while poor Annie was chained to the ground by one front leg and one back leg. What is even worse is that Bobby Roberts, the circus proprietor, stated publicly that Annie was taken good care of, as she “is part of the family”.
The video footage also showed workers beating miniature ponies and horses, as well as beating and spitting on a camel.
These acts are completely disgusting and outrageous. However, they do not simply take place in the UK, but all over the world as well. These animals deserve to be roaming freely, not abused and chained up in an enclosed area.
Circuses need to know that this abuse will not be tolerated. Show them this by telling them that you will refuse to come to their shows if they have animals.
Please sign this petition to support a ban on having animals in circuses.