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 DEFRA Circus animal questionaire

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Adrian Corti

Posts : 22
Join date : 2009-05-24
Age : 48
Location : Surrey

DEFRA Circus animal questionaire Empty
PostSubject: DEFRA Circus animal questionaire   DEFRA Circus animal questionaire Icon_minitimeTue Jan 19, 2010 7:52 am

Hi all, Chris Barltrop and others have pointed out that DEFRA is currently running an online questionaire about circuses in the UK with animals. Obviously pressurised by animal rights groups.

As many of you may well be aware, DEFRA is currently running a questionaire about animals in circus, on line. We would be very pleased if everyone could support UK animal circuses, and take the time to fill this out.


In spite of fears at giving your name and contact details, it's possible to express an opinion when filling in the Questionnaire. The Radford Report says clearly that the Academic Panel of scientists agreed that no species may be deemed unsuitable so long as appropriate facilities and stimulation are provided. There's room in the type-in box to say something like that. If you don't think a complete ban should be introduced, you can point out that Question 3 is not applicable in the light of the scientific evidence. The same applies to Question 4.

That the Consultation is attempting to give circuses a poor image is shown in the wording of Question 6; its wording suggests that, even if animals were banned, someone would still need to check up to make sure we didn't have an odd lion or two hidden in our caravans. You could use the answer box to raise the question of why anyone thinks that would be necessary.

The relationship between a circus trainer and his animals is so special that these animals are often hired by the film and audio-visual industries to show 'close work'. Circus people have been taking formal training and qualifications for several years now; DEFRA are well aware of this, so why does Question 10 speak as though it is not so?

Of course veterinary records are vital; does anyone really think they're not already held and shown now to inspectors? Of course inspections would guarantee welfare; that's why they already take place at every venue. Of course circuses should be inspected frequently; they already are! Animal circuses haven't waited to be advised what to do to guarantee animal welfare; they've got on with it, and have established links between their specialist vets and local Councils so that all activity, at home and on tour, is supervised and monitored by responsible experts, but without the huge costs proposed by DEFRA. The bones of the system are in place now, we've already done it, it simply needs to be adopted by DEFRA!

And so are draft Codes of Practice, handed to DEFRA long ago. These Codes already provide strict and effective legislation in other countries. It would be comparatively simply to adopt them, so long as conformity were verified through inspections by Government or other non-partisan methods, for example by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. But not by the politically-motivated 'animal welfare' groups, who don't give a damn about the actual welfare of real animals.

There's already tons of legislation regarding animal transport; the European Circus Association has ensured that, while circuses must conform to it, it's also appropriate to our circumstances.

However small the British 'animal circus' industry may have become at present, it's essential that its future is protected, and that its animal performers are protected as well. The Classical Circus Association and the ECA continue to ask Government to adopt our proposals, which are for strict Regulation. This is positive thinking; proposals to ban some or all species of animals are negative. They're also self-defeating, because they accept the principle that, even if you're doing nothing wrong, you can still be dictated to, you can still have your artistic freedom taken away. That's called censorship; the other Arts don't have it, so why should we?

There is already an existing body ready and able to enforce Regulation of circus welfare; it's called DEFRA Animal Health. Safeguarding our animals will safeguard the circus, and will also safeguard the right of the public to attend a properly-run circus event if they choose to do so.

This Questionnaire is on the web, and so what should be a survey of UK opinion is in fact a world-wide one. Bearing in mind the potential for politically-motivated activists to inflate responses (using a different computer, giving a different name and address), respondent 'John Smith of Esher' could easily be (will be, I'm sure!) someone quite different in, say, New Zealand or Malta. The figures, whatever they turn out to be, will be meaningless; this compounds the pointlessness of the survey, since the matter has in fact long since been settled by expert non-partisan scientists. It's just that those weren't the answers the Government expected or wanted! Let's put 'em straight!

And remember too -- there's an election around the corner. If your MP supports this, help make sure they don't get re-elected.

Many thanks!
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