Video Footage Shows Squalid Conditions at One of the UK’s Last Wild-Animal Circuses

Posted by on May 11, 2016 | Permalink

Only a handful of circuses in the UK still use wild animals – after all, the British public have repeatedly made it clear that they don’t enjoy seeing terrified animals performing absurd tricks.

Peter Jolly’s Circus is one of them. This archaic company forces zebras, camels, goats, llamas, ponies and other animals to perform in shows around the country. When they’re not on the road, the animals are kept locked up in shabby, extremely crowded winter quarters in Shropshire for four to five months a year.

Animal Defenders International (ADI) went to document these quarters on four separate occasions and see how the animals were treated. This depressing video shows what they found:

According to ADI, their investigation uncovered numerous distressing instances of cruelty, such as:

  • A camel named Kashmir and an ankole (who died a few months later) were tethered for at least 16 hours a day and unable to turn around properly.
  • Zebras Watsui and Sumba were confined to a tiny pen that was less than half the minimum size required by Defra’s animal-welfare regulations.
  • Two goats were confined to a tiny concrete cell measuring just 2.6 square metres.
  • Witnesses filmed Kashmir the camel being intimidated, taunted and spat at by a worker while he was tied up and unable to escape.
  • Eighteen horses, ponies and donkeys were kept in a crowded enclosure so that they couldn’t lie down properly, biting and kicking each other as they fought for space and their tethers became tangled.
  • On one occasion, animals were kept locked up inside for 40 hours straight.

When a journalist contacted the circus for a comment, they were told, “If it’s anything to do with animal rights, we’re not interested”.

Of course, these animals’ lives are just as miserable when they’re being carted around from performance to performance. Veterinary experts agree that wild animals’ needs can never be met in a circus environment, and this latest evidence just confirms that the government’s licensing system, which is supposed to safeguard circus animals’ welfare, is not working.

Animals don’t belong in circuses, and the only way to end their suffering is to ban wild-animal circuses outright, as many other countries have already done.

Please ask the Prime Minister to keep his promise to ban wild-animal circuses in England and Wales now!