release News from the Captive Animals’ Protection Society
Winter 2012 Price £2.00 (where sold)
RING OF CRUELTY II: CAPS brand new report on circus suffering in Ireland ZOOS, DRUGS AND ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: CAPS exposes major UK safari park
A LICENCE TO SUFFER: Six months on
Captive Animals’ Protection Society
www.captiveanimals.org WORKING FOR A WORLD WITHOUT CAGES SINCE 1957
CAPS in the News
A Licence to Suffer
Interview: Undercover Investigator
Members will have received copies of our newest report on animal circuses in Ireland, which is discussed on pages 10 and 11. As we go to press, I am on my way back to Dublin to meet with the Arts Council and, with the backing of numerous organisations and groups, making the call to end funding of animal circuses once and for all. Disappointing news from Westminster means that the strongly opposed plans to license the use of wild animals in circuses in England are set to become law in the first few days of 2013. This is despite CAPS and campaign partners proving that they simply will not work. You can read more about this on pages 12 and 13.
Ring of Cruelty II
Circus Update UK
Zoos, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Finally, we are making an urgent call for support for our Research and Investigations Fund which allows us to carry out our essential work for the animals. Find out ways in which you can help by having a look at page 14 and the back cover.
Thank you to all of you for your continued support - our work is only possible because of you.
Liz Tyson Director
Our report, Licence to Suffer, continues to have an impact on the zoo industry and we take a look at how it has taken effect in the six months since its release on page 4. Other work on zoos includes our investigation into music festivals held at a major UK safari park. Our shocking findings made the national press and have led to calls for a ban on these types of events at both public and Parliamentary levels. Read more on pages 16 and 17.
PO Box 540, Salford, M5 0DS
For advice on donating or leaving a legacy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 0845 330 3911 (local-call rate) or 0161 869 0020
Honorary Veterinary Advisor: Samantha Lindley BVSc, MRCVS
E-mail: email@example.com Websites: www.captiveanimals.org www.irishcircuses.org www.savethemeerkat.com The Captive Animals' Protection Society is a registered charity in England and Wales No.1124436
Welcome to the winter edition of Release magazine. I am pleased to share with you what the CAPS team has been up to in the last six months. As always we have been extremely busy; working hard for the animals.
Patrons: Sally Banks, Lady Stratford Professor Marc Bekoff Britta Jaschinski Jay Kay Professor Randy Malamud Dr Edgar Mann Fiona Oakes Brian Sewell Rt Hon Baroness Smith of Basildon Peter Tatchell
Proofreader: Michaela Altman Cover photo: Elephant act at Courtney Brothers' Circus, Ireland, 2012 Design: www.designsolutions.me.uk
Ethical Policy: The Captive Animals' Protection Society tries to be as ethical as possible. We will not knowingly accept money from any company or individual that we believe is involved in the abuse of humans, animals or the environment.
Captive Animals’ Protection Society
In the News A round-up of just some of the headlines CAPS has made throughout the year.
Release Winter 2012
© Britta Jaschinski
SIX MONTHS ON.... In our last edition of Release, we shared the findings of the groundbreaking new CAPS report, A Licence to Suffer. The report proved that repeated industry claims that animals are protected by strict regulation in zoos in the UK were false, and that the system was failing. Just over six months on and our work in this area has led to some significant achievements: 1. Central Government has included our recommendations in its updated formal guidance for local authorities on the application of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. This means that local authorities now have very clear instructions on what they must do if zoos are failing to meet standards. 2. Our report was used as a resource in a training seminar attended by 70+ officers from over a third of UK local authorities. With speakers at the seminar from zoos around the country and the zoo inspectorate, we hope that our work offered the “other side” of the story to those officers responsible for zoo regulation. 3. The Local Government Association has distributed a version of our findings written exclusively for local authorities to all interested parties via its online forum system. This means that our findings have been made available directly to those people that are responsible for enforcement. 4. The European Commission is investigating our concerns over the failure to enforce the provisions of the EC Zoos Directive and hopes to provide us with a conclusion in the coming months. 5. Having written to a number of local authorities with information on the new Government guidance, we have been thanked for providing them with a better understanding of how sanctions should be enforced. We hope that this will lead to the correct action being taken in the future. 6. Most recently, the report was formally “welcomed” by the new Defra Minister for Zoos, Lord de Mauley, in a debate on the subject in the House of Lords in early October. The findings were also quoted extensively throughout the debate by members of the House.
The report made it clear that our findings should not be used as a call for better regulation or improvements to zoos but as a wake-up call for those that believed that even the most basic needs of animals could be met in zoos. We showed that it was not just that the system was not working, but that it was fundamentally unworkable. The release of the report was just the beginning and, armed with our evidence, we set to work to ensure that we had the best possible chance of making changes. One of the most important findings of the study was that the law as it stands was simply not being enforced properly. Zoos were persistently failing to meet standards but no sanctions were being brought against them to come into line. Zoos that persistently fail to meet standards should be closed down permanently but, despite evidence of persistent failure, no zoos were being closed. We therefore decided to pursue the use of sanctions as a means to work towards zoo closure which, if effective, would be a step forward in our long-term campaign to see an end to the keeping animals in captivity for entertainment. We met with local government representatives, with central government policy-makers and with representative bodies that oversee zoos and their regulation. We were delighted that, for the most part, our report was taken extremely seriously and our suggestions were taken on board and acted upon. We are proud of what we have achieved so far but these victories represent small steps in our zoo campaign. We said in our last edition that one of the major aims for this new report was to dispel the myth that animals are well protected in zoos. We argued that the first step in changing the status quo would be to achieve an understanding that changes needs to be made. It is clear that the steps made in the last six months have started to achieve just that and we will continue working on this, and the wider zoo campaign. Through our combination of research, investigations, education and awareness raising, we will continue to take the campaign forward for all animals currently held captive in zoos. To find out more about our Research and Investigation Fund and how you can support this vital work, please go to page 14.
Captive Animals’ Protection Society
AQUARIUM CAMPAIGN UK
Marine animals belong in the sea, not a shopping centre CAPS was deeply concerned to hear that Manchester’s Trafford Shopping Centre, which is based very close to our headquarters, is developing plans to open a new aquarium on its site. The news was announced in late April this year and we have been actively working on a strategy to oppose the plans since then. The campaign was launched in July and we, along with Manchester Animal Action (MAA), spoke out against the plans and urged the Trafford Centre to drop them before the aquatic exhibit opened. As the campaign began we received a disappointing response from the centre management and a refusal to meet has meant we have been unable to share our views and the concerns of our many supporters from the outset. We argue that: - There is no justification for holding animals captive for entertainment - There are serious welfare concerns for animals kept in aquaria, whether large or small, including abnormal behaviour and regular health problems such as lacerations, growths and deformity. - The introduction of an aquarium goes against the Trafford Centre’s claims of being the “greenest shopping centre in the UK” and Capital Shopping Centre’s statement: ‘’We are committed to working closely with the communities served by our businesses and operating responsibly in terms of care for the environment’’ There has been continued support for this campaign along the way, with Release Winter 2012
supporters contacting the Trafford Centre by writing emails and sending out our campaign postcards. MAA has taken action by handing out information at local stalls, getting out there, spreading the word and discussing the campaign with other Manchester residents. We visited the Trafford Centre and held a stall inside the Lush store there. We spoke to a great number of shoppers who agreed with our opposition and signed our petition. We lobbied local authority councillors in the Trafford area and formally presented our opposition at the Trafford Council Planning Committee meeting to determine whether plans for the aquarium would go ahead. We outlined some of the issues raised in our 2012 report, A Licence to Suffer, which has led to a change in Government guidance on the issue and lays bare the failures of the legislative system set up to protect animals in captive facilities. We outlined the burden placed on local councils to ensure zoos meet licensing obligations and highlighted that the lack of experienced staff in this area within Trafford Council is likely to cause problems going forward for the council. Sadly, our calls went unheeded and we were disappointed when the planning application for the Trafford Centre Aquarium was approved. Despite setbacks, we remain undeterred and will continue to campaign to prevent this project from going ahead. For this, we need your help. Our initial attempts at contact with the centre’s
parent company, Capital Shopping Centres, were completely ignored, yet more recently we have picked up the pressure by asking consumers of Capital’s many other centres across the UK to contact the company, calling for a policy which will prohibit the introduction of captive animal facilities within all their outlets.
HOW YOU CAN HELP To help us continue our campaign please do one or more of the following: l Sign our ‘Oppose the Trafford
Centre Aquarium’ petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/ 251/392/186/oppose-the-traffordcentre-aquarium/
l Write to the Trafford Centre and
ask them to halt plans: The Trafford Centre Limited Management Suite, The Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8AA
l Email Capital Shopping Centres
and ask them to create a policy which will prohibit the introduction of captive animal facilities within all their outlets: firstname.lastname@example.org
l Order our campaign postcards
and send them off. To order simply get in touch by emailing email@example.com or calling 0845 330 3911
Undercover investigator John* works as an undercover investigator for CAPS and other animal protection groups. He has more than a decade’s experience in uncovering animal suffering in industries such as farming, circuses and zoos. John’s interview offers an insight into the work carried out by the brave people who risk their own safety to bring to light what goes on behind closed doors. (* not his real name)
First of all, how did you get into this rather unusual line of work? A friend of mine was a photographer who used to talk his way into slaughterhouses and he got me interested in both photography and investigations. He was a real inspiration and I learned a lot from him, including a passion for photography and developing prints (in those pre-digital days). I began to see investigations as a way for me to make a real difference, doing work which others felt unable or unwilling to do, but is so vital to mobilising a change to animals’ lives.
What types of investigations have you been involved in? I’ve pretty much seen most types of animal abuse – factory farms, slaughterhouses, fur farms, hunting, vivisection and of course zoos, circuses and the exotic pet trade. My work has taken me to several countries – animal exploitation really does know no boundaries.
Why are investigations so important – what can they achieve that other areas of campaigning and advocacy can’t? Investigations don’t necessarily achieve something different to campaigning and advocacy - they are all part of the same toolbox. I see investigations as the bedrock of the work organisations such as CAPS do – research and undercover work needs to be conducted in order to ensure the message organisations then put to the public, media and political epresentatives is based on sound evidence.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Making a difference to public attitude is what it’s all about, so if someone becomes vegan or vegetarian, starts going only to all-human circuses, stops buying fur, etc, then it’s an indication of a job well done. Seeing evidence I have gathered being used in the media or referred to by politicians in debates shows the work is being relayed to the public. Captive Animals’ Protection Society
By its very nature, your work requires you to go into situations that you know will be difficult to deal with emotionally. How do you cope with that (both during and after the investigation)? It may sound strange, but during an investigation I rarely have a problem dealing with the cruelty in front of me. That’s because I’m focussed on a job – filming, photographing, asking questions. I’m concentrating on ensuring I get everything I need. Once, after leaving a slaughterhouse where I had persuaded the manager to let me film and photograph for almost an hour, I realised that I had concentrated so much on what angles to film the stunning and slaughter from that I almost hadn’t ‘noticed’ animals having their throats slit and bleeding to death inches away from me. Post-investigation is the most difficult bit. I dread editing videos as I have to watch a horrific scene over and over. Part of me feels as though I was never there and am experiencing it for the first time. It’s important to try and take some time out and have a break from such experiences.
Being an investigator requires that you protect your identity. How easy is that to do whilst on assignment and particularly nowadays when social media sites allow people to share information about themselves and their friends at the click of a button? It obviously depends on the type of assignment and the depths of the undercover work. Many animal establishments carry out lots of background checks and it can be difficult for a ‘known’ activist to get a job there. Others are surprisingly naïve and gullible, believing any story you tell them. Social media is a big problem for nvestigators. I keep well clear of it, much to the annoyance of friends. It is so easy to obtain information (including photos) from social media sites and link people – I should know, as I have done it to compile information on people or establishments I have investigated!
Is there any assignment that you have turned down or is there a situation you simply couldn’t work in? So far, no. I work on projects that don’t require long term work as there are lots of complications (emotional as Release Winter 2012
well as practical) and I hugely admire people who can spend 12 months working in a vivisection lab as keeping your cover story on top of dealing with the day to day cruelties must be so hard. I am more likely to turn an assignment down because it’s for an organisation that would use it to promote a welfarist campaign instead of abolitionism (e.g. free range meat rather than advocating veganism) than because of the emotional aspects of the project.
Have you ever gotten into a difficult situation during an assignment and how did you deal with it? I remember once being at a major hare coursing event as a ‘press photographer’ and stupidly causing the event’s official photographer to become suspicious of me. He then led me through a crowd of hundreds of coursing enthusiasts (many of them drunk on both alcohol and the bloodlust of seeing hares ripped apart), loudly talking of his suspicion of my being an ‘anti’. I did my best to keep my cool but even after leaving the hunting fields had a two mile walk down a country lane back to my car! I narrowly missed being physically attacked simply because I instilled enough doubt in his mind. Another time I wasn’t so fortunate and was spotted leaving a fur farm by the owner who beat me up. You learn quickly from such mistakes.
What are the worst cruelties you have witnessed? I don’t really categorise animal use in that way. A caged hen in a battery farm is as sad as a caged bird in a zoo. It continues to amaze me that someone came up with ideas such as confining pregnant pigs in pens that prevent them from turning around, whipping elephants to make them perform in a circus show, that others participate in this and some even pay to see such ridiculous exploitation. Every investigation I’m involved in just strengthens my conviction that animals are not ours to use and that humans need to seriously rethink our whole relationship with other animals.
How do you answer the industry claim that investigative work, and particularly undercover footage, can be manipulated, edited or staged to highlight the worst of an industry and is unrepresentative of the business as a whole. Video footage from investigations speaks for itself – animals are routinely caged, beaten, slaughtered, exploited, the majority of which (circuses, zoos, fur, hunting, meat, eggs and dairy) is for human pleasure. There is no need to manipulate this evidence when the suffering is so clear already. I have never met a single investigator who has considered manipulating or staging an investigation; it goes against their own integrity.
Do you feel empathy or sympathy for the people that work in the industries that your work seeks to expose? I’ve never felt sympathy for someone after being into their establishment (whether fur farm, slaughterhouse or circus) and seen the suffering in the animals’ eyes. However, I have found many of these people to be friendly, willing to give me much of their time (even when my cover story doesn’t really benefit them) and ‘likeable’ in many ways. Spending time with them helps me to understand what drives animal industries and what we need to do to save animals from such exploitation.
If there has been one important lesson that your work as an investigator has taught you, what would it be? That not everyone involved in animal industries is ‘evil’. They may be misguided, they may do something I utterly object to, but branding them all as ‘evil’ or ‘cruel’ doesn’t help us significantly understand the root causes of animal (ab)use and how to end it. Some people do seek pleasure from inflicting cruelty on animals, but most don’t actually think about the impact of their actions and see it as a ‘normal’ and acceptable thing to do. I’ve also learned to be more sensible in the risks that I take!
"Making a difference to public attitude is what it’s all about, so if someone becomes vegan or vegetarian, starts going only to allhuman circuses, stops buying fur, etc, then it’s an indication of a job well done" 7
Zoo News A zebra act from the Great British Circus some years ago
Humbug the zebra leaves the circus to join the zoo An advert in Horse and Hound Magazine to “sell off” the animals belonging to circus owner, Martin Lacey, prompted widespread discussion in September as announcements were made that the notorious Great British Circus would be ceasing to use animals in the years going forward. Since then, mixed messages from the circus have led to confusion as to the business’ intentions but the record appeared to be set straight two weeks ago when flyers were posted through people’s doors from the circus confirming that this was the “last chance to see” wild animals. The wild animals, at least, appear to be being dropped from the bill. In the furore surrounding the speculation, concerned parties kept an eye out for any news as to the fate of the zebra that was being touted in that first advert. In early October, news surfaced which confirmed that he had been moved to an equestrian centre which now says it wants to open as a zoo. As such, instead of a long-overdue retirement, Humbug the zebra will continue to be exploited for profit for the rest of his days. The owner of the centre told This is South Wales: “I definitely want to get more animals, including some small monkeys, but it depends what happens with my discussions with the council.” “We want all our animals to be tame so the children will be able to engage with them. There won’t be any lions or tigers.” Said CAPS Director, Liz Tyson: “Pushed from pillar to post, Humbug the zebra should be allowed to live out his days in peace away from public scrutiny. Granted, zebras should not be in the UK in the first place so it seems sadly inevitable that his life will continue to be lived in captivity, for want of any other feasible option for him. However, that his arrival at this centre seems to have actively triggered plans for a project to create a new captive animal facility is extremely saddening. The last thing that the UK needs is another zoo. We sincerely hope that the owners will reconsider”.
No VIP treatment for Sofus, the lonely Edinburgh Zoo sea lion Edinburgh Zoo has been in the headlines consistently for the last year as the attraction has taken every opportunity to advertise, publicise and promote its most high-profile residents: the two pandas named Sunshine and Sweetie. If you believe the hype, no expense has been spared in building the pandas’ enclosure, providing them with the right food, providing them with the optimum facilities for captive breeding and, of course, in providing a massive payment each year to the Chinese government for the privilege of keeping Sunshine and Sweetie in the city zoo in Scotland. While the situation for the pandas undoubtedly presents its own serious concerns, recent reports have suggested that the other animals in the zoo are at risk of neglect while the spotlight (and investment) seems to be focused on Sunshine, Sweetie and the other more ‘exciting residents’. One such animal is Sofus, the Patagonian Sea Lion. Unlike the fanfare that accompanied the arrival of Sunshine and Sweetie, Sofus was moved in late September, with little ceremony, to Lodz Zoo in Poland. The move to Poland follows three years in accommodation which Government inspectors warned was substandard and that, since 2010, had apparently been the cause of ongoing health issues, including recurring eye infections, for Sofus and his companion. Said CAPS Director, Liz Tyson: “A zoo is no place for any animal but it is just heartbreaking to think of this poor sea lion, suffering recurring eye infections for years because the zoo could not, or would not, improve his situation. In the meantime, while he is shipped to yet another captive animal facility, the zoo is developed around him, with the business pouring money into crowdpleasing exhibits. There is no happy ending for any of the animals – all of them will spend their lives in captivity – but Sofus’ story just serves to highlight how expendable animals in zoos are.”
Captive Animals’ Protection Society
Members of MAA stage a protest outside Trafford Council offices
Manchester Animal Action on opposing the Trafford Centre Aquarium When we first heard about plans to build a Sea Life Aquarium in the middle of the Trafford Centre shopping complex, we were shocked and dismayed. Many of us were familiar with the Trafford Centre, had visited it at various times and shopped there. For us a new aquarium in the shopping centre would mean thousands of marine animals would be sentenced to a lifetime of suffering, of misery and boredom, in an unhealthy and unnatural environment. They would be stuck in a glass cage to be a gawped at by curious shoppers and tourists, and all just to create more profits for Sea Life's owners. We knew as well that sea animals lacked the cuddly appeal of other animals we campaign on behalf of, and so it would be an uphill campaign to try to stop the aquarium being built, but we were definitely going to give it a try
Since I was a child I’ve always wanted to take an active part to protect animals’ rights. Indeed I’m both upset and furious when I hear about the way a lot of animals are treated around the world out of a lack of respect.
We consulted with CAPS, who are also based in Manchester and who were also trying to prevent the Aquarium from being built. We were able to distribute many of CAPS designed postcards both to our members and supporters, and also many more members of the public via our weekly stalls in Manchester. We also had a huge 12 foot banner made up from a design supplied by CAPS which we continue to display on our stalls. We sent out email and contact alerts to encourage as many people as possible to contact Trafford Council to ask them not to grant planning permission to the aquarium. At the planning permission meeting on 13th September of the Development Control Committee of the council, which would debate the application, we held a short protest outside with our big banner, and then went inside to watch proceedings. The committee decided to allow the application.
I heard of CAPS on the Internet while I was looking for a one-month internship and as its purpose perfectly fits with my professional project, I decided to contact them. As I’m studying law, they offered me a work combining law and animal protection, which I gladly accepted. I had to do a research work concerning the exotic pet trade and ownership legislation around the world, which really interested me. Indeed I was happy to use my law knowledge to understand how animals are protected around the world and try to find solutions to the problems resulting from the exotic pet trade, following the examples of other countries having a more comprehensive legislation in this area. As well as this, I focused on some particular areas of the exotic pet trade such as the Internet trade, pet monkeys and circus animals. These issues really interested me and made me aware of the fact that exotic pet trade and ownership is a wide problem.
Now that the aquarium has planning permission our next move is to try to appeal to the company which owns the Trafford Centre, Capital Shopping Centres (CSC). CSC owns most of the largest shopping complexes in the country, so along with CAPS, we'll be encouraging activists in other areas to join us in persuading CSC to introduce a policy not to allow captive animal facilities at their shopping centres, since most of us have a shopping centre owned by CSC near to us.
This project allowed me to gain experience in animal protection and to acquire valuable knowledge in legislation and animals rights. Besides I had never done a research work and I found it very interesting and stimulating.
To find out more, including how to contact CSC, and the location of their shopping centres, see the CAPS website: www.captiveanimals.org
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Working with CAPS BY HÉLOÏSE MARSEILLE
Finally I must say that I really enjoyed working at CAPS office because there is a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere that made me feel comfortable. It is also nice to see that you can help even if what you do is just a little contribution to their work, whatever your skills and qualifications. Given the very positive experience I lived out, I would definitely recommend long term volunteering at CAPS!
RING OF CRUELTY II CAPS supporters will have received a copy of our brand new report, Ring of Cruelty II, in September. The report updates our 2006 study of animal suffering in Irish circuses and presents shocking evidence that almost €1,000,000 euros of public money have been granted to circuses using animals by the Arts Council Ireland in the last six years.
The report also charts the sorry tale of the five elephants being used in Courtney Brother’s circus this season; from their import into Europe which appeared to break strict animal health regulations to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease, to the degrading performances that they have been forced to endure day in and day out since early 2012. Part of the elephant act at Courtney’s Circus, which was filmed by investigators, showed a young performer jumping repeatedly up and down on the body of one of the elephants as she lies on the floor. Another piece of footage shows performers yanking, and even swinging from, the elephants’ tails. Finally the report gave an overall assessment of this outdated industry which, thankfully, appears to be in serious decline since a similar assessment was carried out by CAPS in 2006. However, despite the fact that numbers of circuses, and numbers of animals in those circuses, have almost halved, there are still over fifty animals enduring life under the big top in Ireland. Work must continue until the practice is ended once and for all. Following the launch of the report, CAPS and friends from leading animal protection groups in Ireland: AFAR, ALiberation, Circus Watch, NARA and Vegan Ireland, organised a day of action for animals in circuses and took to the streets of Dublin to raise awareness. CAPS Director, Liz, was there with representatives and members from the other groups and said: “It was a glorious sunny day and people turned out in force to help out. We talked to members of the public in some of the busiest areas of the city and the campaign was met with interest and support. Many people we spoke to told us that they would never visit an animal circus and others were shocked to hear that taxpayers’ money was being used to fund the practice of animal exploitation in the big top. The day included a visit en masse to the Arts Council’s offices to hand in a copy of the report and the first of the campaign postcards to oppose their support for animal circuses.” Spokespeople from supportive groups welcomed the new report and accompanying campaign: National Animal Rights Association (NARA): “We were absolutely thrilled when CAPS approached us about working together on a brand new campaign to ban animal circuses in Ireland. The investigation they conducted, and subsequent report, has made a huge impact already in highlighting the plight of animals used in circuses here - and thanks to their generous donation of campaign materials, we are now able to draw attention to this important issue in ways we never have before. We feel this team-effort campaign strategy can only result in success, and we look forward to taking the next step with
“The Ring of Cruelty II by CAPS shines a much needed light on the use of animals in Irish circuses. The report also spells out in detail the much-criticised funding of this animal use by the Arts Council of Ireland with taxpayers’ money.” ALiberation CAPS to eradicate this archaic form of '’entertainment'’ once and for all.” Since its release, work has been going on to move the campaign forward and we are hoping to see progress in the coming months. A major part of the strategy has been to establish links with the Arts Council in a bid to convince them to change their funding policy for circuses. CAPS argues that the Arts Council should continue to fund circuses, but restrict money to all-human shows. Demos carried out by members of NARA and a very successful postcard campaign led to contact being made with the Arts Council and meetings are being carried out at the time of going to press to seek a solution. As a gesture of goodwill, CAPS and campaign partners have agreed to put the postcard campaign on hold until those meetings have been realised. The timing of the reinvigorated campaign is particularly apt, given that the long-awaited Animal Health and Welfare Bill is currently being discussed in committee in the Irish Dáil (Parliament). A ban on the use of animals in circuses is not currently included in the draft bill but TD Maureen O’Sullivan has proposed amendments which include the suggestion for a ban. CAPS has been working with ALiberation to provide information to ensure that Ms O’Sullivan is well-briefed on the issue. Whilst it is, sadly, unlikely that the amendment will make it into the Bill at this stage, it provides an opportunity to discuss the subject of animals in circuses and present the case. We hope that, if the amendment is not successful at this point, this work will lay the foundation to allow its inclusion at a later date. We will continue to work hard on our campaign strategy for Ireland alongside our campaign partners. With a combination of experience, dedication and support from our wonderful members, we hope to be able to update you all with a positive progress report in our next edition. The work on the Irish campaign this year has been made possible by a generous grant from Animal Friends Insurance. Captive Animals’ Protection Society
Tiger at Duffy’s Circus
PHOTOS: Horse and pony act at Fossetts Circus Day of action in Dublin for animals in circuses Dogs at Duffy’s Circus Tiger act at Duffy’s Circus
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CIRCUS UPDATE UK
In the ongoing saga of the work towards a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses in England, we left you last time with the result of a hopeful meeting with the then Defra Minister, Lord Taylor, in late April. In response to growing concerns on Government plans for licensing the use of wild animals in circuses whilst the promised ban was developed, Lord Taylor formally confirmed: 1. That the government’s proposed licensing scheme would be a temporary measure while the ban was worked upon 2. That, as soon as the ban came into effect, it would affect each and every wild animal in circuses in this country and no “grandfather” clause would be employed to
allow any existing animals to continue to be used beyond the date of implementation 3. That, as far as he was concerned, the circuses were “on notice” of the ban and so could not argue that they had not been sufficiently forewarned in order to either try to delay or prevent the ban from being introduced when the time came We were not 100% happy with all of the responses but we were reassured that the answers that we were given
were correct and that we could rely on them going forward. Unfortunately, this confidence was short-lived. The draft regulations for the licensing of the use of wild animals in circuses were published in July, along with further documentation from Government. Whilst we and our campaign partners had rejected the proposals for licensing outright, we conducted a detailed analysis of all documentation to ensure that nothing in the proposed regulations posed barriers to the long-overdue ban.
Captive Animals’ Protection Society
Licensing on its way in for circuses despite proof it won't protect animals We were shocked to see that, despite promises made to us by the Minister just a few months previously, the terms of the ban were by no means set in stone. The government papers spoke of a “phase in” ban and even a “species specific” ban. This presents a very different picture to an outright ban on the use of all wild animals and a ban that takes effect immediately on implementation. It quickly became apparent that, in order to ensure the full ban really did happen, we had to prevent the introduction of the licensing system altogether. If the licensing system was introduced, it was clear that Government was anticipating that it might play a much bigger role that the “temporary measure” that we had been led to believe it would. It might even become permanent for some animals if the final ban was just designed to apply to some species of wild animal. The odds were stacked against us and we knew we had to create a compelling and fool-proof argument for our case and convince MPs that they must reject the proposals. We set to work on a detailed analysis of the regulations and it wasn’t long before we spotted a fundamental flaw in the new rules. The problem was simple: a glaring error in the way that they had been drafted meant that the licensing regime simply could not be enforced. We sought external legal advice to double-check our findings and had it confirmed that we were correct. We prepared a briefing document with our campaign partners, The RSPCA, Born Free Foundation and the British Veterinary Association and arranged a meeting with the Defra team to ask them if they had a solution that we had perhaps not thought of. The team were unable to answer our concerns and referred the point to their lawyer whose answer also failed to provide a solution. We were convinced that we were on the right track and persisted, despite the Government team trying to dismiss the issue. Each response we received from Defra was countered with our detailed arguments and rebuttals. Astoundingly, and despite being shown clearly that their plans would not work, the Government continued to ignore concerns and press ahead anyway. The regulations were quickly put
Release Winter 2012
"Training and forcing animals to perform for audiences is an act of cruelty, and for the Government to introduce regulations to endorse it is to endorse that level of cruelty" Tom Harris MP forward for debate in both Houses of Parliament, apparently in order to rush them through, despite the fact none of the animal protection lobby had been given the opportunity to speak to the new Minister and despite the fact that no answers had been given to the concerns raised. When debated in the House of Lords, our joint briefing document was used by the opposition to question the Minister, who could not provide satisfactory answers the questions posed. Despite this, the regulations were passed to the House of Commons, where our arguments were, once
again, put forward. In the face of our overwhelming evidence against the plans, the committee voted in favour of the regulations and, the following day, a vote in the main chamber confirmed the worst: licensing was on its way in. The Government have stated that the draft Bill to ban will be presented for scrutiny in Spring of next year. CAPS will be working with coalition partners and supportive MPs to ensure that they are held to this promise. We will be updating supporters in the next issue of Release on this important campaign. CAPS Director, Liz Tyson, said: “It really does call into question the Government’s true intentions on this issue. We have shown that the licensing regime won’t work and yet the legislation is being rushed through anyway. The talk of a phase-in ban and a species-specific ban has been quietly introduced and flies in the face of the public promises of an outright ban for all wild animals. The battle is not yet won and we will continue to keep the process under close scrutiny until an outright ban on the use of all wild animals in circuses is in place, as promised”.
Supporting CAPS Research and Investigations Fund 2013 An important part of our work, as many of you will know, is our investigation into zoos, circuses and the pet trade.
We have exposed many zoos and circuses; uncovering animal suffering and systems which are simply not helping the animals they were purportedly designed to care for. Previous years of investigations have brought about invaluable footage and reports that have led to zoo closures due to appalling standards, animals being re-homed, changes implemented at Government level and national media coverage. We are currently fundraising for the Research and Investigations Fund for 2013 in order for us to employ an investigator next year and continue this vital work. Without this valuable funding we will be unable to carry out projects in this area.
WISH LIST You may not be able to donate money but you could have an item lying around the house that you don’t need that could really help us out. Please have a think whether you, your friends or family can help us with any of the following: l
Fireproof cabinet for storing footage and documents
Can you donate towards this fund? We need £8,000 to cover an investigator’s wages, travel and equipment costs.
Digital video camera or stills camera
Laptop for showing footage at events
We are fundraising for part of this amount at Christmas in The Big Give Fund where we could gain matched funding for your online donations. See the back page for more information on this great initiative that makes your donation go further.
If you can help us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details so we can arrange delivery.
Captive Animals’ Protection Society
Thank You Turn £1 into £1.25 at no extra cost to you! If you are a UK taxpayer, your donations or subscription to us could be eligible for gift aid which means we can claim 25p per £1 from HMRC. Be sure to read the text on the donations form and tick that box is you are eligible. If you have made a donation to us in the past 4 years and you didn’t let us know you were eligible, just complete the form now and send back to us in the envelope and we can claim on your past donations.
Don’t bin it – give it to CAPS! Have you upgraded your phone? Is your old handset just sat in a drawer gathering dust? Your old phone could make up to £70 for CAPS! Your empty inkjet and laser cartridges can raise up to £5 for us! Don’t bin them, help the environment and animals and recycle them through us. All you need to do is use the envelope you will find enclosed in this magazine, pop your phone or cartridges in it and send it off. An easy bit of fundraising for the animals!
Lush Many thanks to Lush for donating to us a generous £1,268 from their charity auction held at Lushfest. We braved the mud at Lushfest and held a stall there along with many other great charities and organisations. Whilst there we were able to chat to Lush about our aquarium campaign and arrange a day when we could go into the local store and inform the customers of the plight of marine animals held captive in aquariums. Thanks Lush!
Frances and Martin Lindsay-Hills A huge thank you to Frances and Martin Lindsay-Hills who have been so generous to CAPS over the years – we are extremely grateful for your unerring support!
Dandelion and Burdock Restaurant Thanks to all the staff at Dandelion and Burdock restaurant for holding our charity fundraising meal. CAPS staff and supporters ate amazing vegan food and raised £210 for captive animals. A big thanks to Lush, Unicorn Grocery and Britta Jaschinski who all donated prizes for the raffle which raised £55 our campaigns.
Susie Gray Thanks to 13 year-old Susie from Torbay in Devon who took to the water and swam a whopping 5km to support CAPS. A fantastic effort!
Set up a fundraising page You can now set up your own fundraising page through JustGiving for CAPS. Some of our supporters have already done so like Susie, who swam 5km in support of the campaign against animals in circuses! To set up your fundraising page, visit: www.justgiving.com Any money you donate to CAPS will go towards helping our vital campaigns. Please donate today to help us carry on fighting against the exploitation of animals in entertainment.
Scrap or donate?
Through GiveaCar you can decide to donate your scrap car to us and help raise money for captive animals. Do you have an old car in your yard – this company will come and collect it for you and you just have to let them know who you want the proceeds donated to. If you are in need of some of the money, you can just donate half the car too.
Do you sell items on Ebay?
Please visit http://giveacar.co.uk for more details. Release Winter 2012
If so then you can choose us as your favourite charity via the ‘My Favourite Charities’ page in your eBay Donation Account. You can then choose to donate a percentage of your sale to us (between 10% and 100%). 15
Zoos, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll: CAPS exposes major UK safari park Footage, photos and testimonies from CAPS investigators who attended a music festival held in mid-September in the grounds of a UK zoo prove previously-voiced fears for animal welfare and public safety are well-founded. The Port Lympne Safari Park played host to Ibiza’s “Zoo Project” dance festival from 14th – 16th September and, after concerns raised publicly earlier in the year for animal and public safety during this type of event were ignored, investigators from CAPS went along to the festival to assess how the risks were managed. Footage, photos and statements from the investigators confirmed open drug use and alcohol consumption around the zoo site. A lack of security allowed festival-goers who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or other substances into restricted areas close to the park’s bachelor group of gorillas. Audio recordings hear the three boys in question discussing jumping into the enclosure to “shake hands” with the apes, as two zoo jeeps drive past and
“ I was quite genuinely disgusted by the whole set-up. The lack of security and protection for the animals was shocking. It’s nothing short of a miracle that there was not a disaster”
ignore the presence of the unauthorised group. Further footage shows objects being thrown into the baboon enclosures and carp ponds and the gorillas being tormented with sticks on two separate occasions. An audio recording of a member of the zoo staff who was approached after objects were thrown into a primate enclosure hears a member of zoo staff confirm: “Yeah, we’ve had quite a lot of trouble this weekend…“ The zoo was supposed to close to the public and festival goers at 6.30pm but footage taken around 7pm on the Saturday night shows the park entrance unsupervised, apparently allowing easy access to anyone who was minded to enter during the evening. On the website for the event, it was stated that “the actual festival grounds will be located away from the animals in a remote section of the 600 acre wild animal park” but the festival main stage was estimated to be around 500 metres from the entrance to the zoo and the
Festival-goers that harassed gorillas inhale nitrous oxide (laughing gas) in the zoo gardens
music, which went on until around 1-2am in the morning, could be clearly heard within the park. Said CAPS Director, Liz Tyson: “This is a clear case of Port Lympne putting profit before the most basic needs of the animals. The combination of people under the influence of alcohol and other substances and animals who cannot escape the situation, shows the zoo management’s blatant disregard for both animals and festival goers. The most astounding thing is that, despite the incidents witnessed over the course of the weekend being largely predictable, security on site was not in place to protect the animals or the visitors. Last year saw the deaths of two dolphins in a Swiss aquarium after drugs were thrown into their tank by people at a dance party held there. It seems a matter of sheer luck in this instance that a similar incident didn’t happen here. It would certainly seem that if someone had it in mind to interfere with the animals, there were no measures in place to stop them.” Port Lympne also hosted a heavy metal festival at the same site some weeks before. The story broke in the national press on the Sunday following the festival and was met with horror by members of the public. Comments made online included: “It’s bad enough that the animals are in a zoo in the first place, but they have no escape from noise and torment. It’s all about money, isn’t it? I’m disgusted beyond belief” “This is disgusting and should be banned immediately. I can only imagine how terrified and stressed the animals must get”.
Captive Animals’ Protection Society
And it wasn’t just members of the public. Labour’s shadow Environment spokesman, Tom Harris, told the Sunday Express that he would be tabling questions when the Commons returns in October. He said: “Most people would be appalled by this. I’m shocked. If the Act is not fit for purpose, then it needs to be. It’s as simple as that. “And if that gets in the way of some corporate event organisers, then tough.” The exposé was raised with the Minister for zoos during a debate in the House of Lords on 8th October, and he was asked for his view on the findings of the investigation. Unfortunately, no response was provided by the Minister during the debate.
“I was sitting on a bench on the public walkway opposite the Gorilla Gardens, when a man being helped to walk along by his friend approached me and asked if I either wanted drugs or had any drugs. I asked him to repeat himself and he became awkward and began slurring his words.” A group of party-goers antagonise the gorillas and talk about jumping into the enclosure
Whilst CAPS maintains that zoos are no place for any animal, these sorts of events clearly place the animals, and the visitors, in very dangerous positions. CAPS is making calls to ensure that zoos are not allowed to host this sort of event in the future.
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THE ROSE-TINTED MENAGERIE By William M. Johnson
ANIMAL RIGHTS WITHOUT LIBERATION By Alisdair Cochrane Columbia University Press, Columbia, New York, USA. ISBN 9780231158268
REVIEWED BY LIZ TYSON
The terms “animal liberation” and “animal rights” are largely used interchangeably, and for good reason, as animal rights advocates see liberation of animals from exploitation by people as essential if rights are to be recognised. In fact, a commonly-used analogy to differentiate between animal rights and animal welfare is: “Animal rights advocates are campaigning for no cages, while animal welfarists are campaigning for bigger cages.” Liberation (the no cage approach) is therefore fundamental to the animal rights movement. As such, a book with the title Animal Rights without Liberation would appear to be a contradiction in terms. I was therefore intrigued by this book and thought I should check it out. The author attempts to offer an alternative to the traditional rights approach in which some animal use is permitted and other use is prohibited. He sees this model as more workable and realistic than the traditional rights approach and bases his theory on an “interest-based approach”. He concludes that animals have an interest in not suffering and not dying but that they do not have an interest in liberty per se. As such, he argues, we have no obligation to liberate animals, but to ensure that our actions do not cause them to suffer or die. He goes on to look at a number of different practices and industries which use animals, ranging from factory farming to circuses. At the end of each chapter, he explains where he believes a line should be drawn between what is acceptable and what is not. The result is quite an interesting but sometimes confusing read which seeks to make radical changes in many areas of animal use but invariably seems to stop short of really embracing rights for animals. For example, under Cochrane’s model, animals cannot be killed for their flesh but, in certain circumstances (which are never made entirely clear) they can be used for their milk or eggs. Animals should not be forced to perform in circuses or be kept in zoos but, with a radical overhaul (the nature of which is not made clear) of the ways that both circuses and zoos are run, animal use within them might be acceptable. Genetic engineering of animals, according to Cochrane, is sometimes OK if it doesn’t have a negative effect on them and animal experimentation might be OK if it doesn’t cause suffering or death. One point which seemed apparent to me throughout was that the author had a limited understanding of the animals that he was discussing which brought the credibility of some of his conclusions into question. For example, he argues that genetically engineering a dog so that he couldn’t wag his tail would have no negative effect on the well-being of the dog and was therefore, in principle, permissible. Of course, anyone that has spent any time with dogs will know that tail wagging is a vital tool for communication and the inability to do so could very well impact their well-being. He also makes the point that animals being caught from the wild for zoos and circuses would be unacceptable due to the inevitable suffering caused to those animals but showed no apparent recognition that wild animals bred in captivity remain “wild” by their very nature. These are just a few examples of various that suggested that assumptions were being made by the author which were questionable. The book was interesting, but is certainly a theory of animal welfare, and not rights. I found some of the arguments unconvincing and some of them factually incorrect. Having said this, if all of the changes suggested by the book were put in place then it would see a massive reduction in practices that are harmful to animals. On the other hand, it would continue to allow practices that continue to cause suffering. From a personal point of view, I simply do not agree with the author’s approach, however, the book is worth reading for anyone who is interested in alternative perspectives to animal rights theory and the differences between welfare and rights arguments.
Iridescent Publishing, 2012 (Kindle Edition) REVIEWED BY EMILY WISE
The Rose-Tinted Menagerie, first published in 1990 and re-released this year, proves it is just as relevant now as it was then as it explores the argument against animal exploitation and its effects throughout the ages. The five years of investigative research spent on this book by author William Johnson shines through immediately as he delivers a clear and well-informed account of man’s relationship with animals. Reading like a guidebook on the differing roles of animals as entertainment, Johnson embarks upon a chronological and steady journey throughout human history to uncover the facts about animal use, from big cats in the arenas of ancient Rome, to the boom of animal trade and exotic collections in the middle ages, right through to the performing animal industry of the 20th century. Johnson lingers on topics such as circuses and the keeping of captive cetaceans, exploring dolphinariums in detail and describing the evolution of small travelling groups into large businesses -creating a profitable industry and the beginnings of the circus as we know it. Despite this though, The Rose-Tinted Menagerie can widely be used as a comment on all animal rights issues and Johnson manages to seamlessly branch out to touch upon issues such as the trade in wild animals, the black market in endangered species and even animals exploited as tools of war. Trends in animal exploitation are illustrated using pictures, photographs and by referring to advertising and film. This attention to detail, and the fact that the book is littered with comments from experts in the field, means that Johnson’s case is strong and remains interesting and readable throughout. Personally, I enjoyed that an analogical explanation was also included to back up statements, as for me this is an extremely important aspect in the argument for animal intelligence and sentience. Never seeming fabricated, real-life accounts are tied in throughout the book, making the importance of the fight against animal exploitation completely undeniable. Tackling the issues from all angles, the book weaves in and out of themes that pop up again and again such as science, religion and the psychology of both the animal and human mind. Johnson’s writing is globally relevant and brings the case for animal protection up to speed by hitting on relevant and popular thought in modern society to finish. Anthropomorphising, animal individualism and research into detrimental stereotypical behaviours are covered, as well as progress in the success of legislative cases against animal abuse. I disagree that The Rose-Tinted Menagerie, previously described as ‘angry’, offers anything but a fair and factual account of the lives of animals held in captivity for entertainment. A history of man’s reaction to the needs of other living creatures is put into perspective, and although our progress in this area is recognised, the book highlights what more there is to be done.
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Our stylish t-shirts are available in both pale blue unisex and white skinny-fit ladies both displaying the CAPS logo of elephant mother and calf. All our t-shirts are organic and fair-trade so you can be sure that your clothes are kind to animals, humans and the environment.
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High quality fair trade, unbleached natural cotton eco shopper “Animals take the smiles out of the circus“. These stylish bags are a perfect way to support our circus campaign whilst you shop!
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A donation of ÂŁ5 or more to us on any of these days means we can DOUBLE your donation! Through the Big Give Christmas Challenge we are fundraising for our Research and Investigation fund 2013. Please donate online on these days and join the race for matched funding! Be ready at your computer on those days and help us make more money for captive animals.
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CAPS Release Winter 2012