ALLIANCE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS (A.F.A.R.)

Fighting for animal liberation in Ireland since 1989: education, campaigns, legislation, direct action

BOYCOTT THE FILM ‘ WATER FOR ELEPHANTS’

RE: BOYCOTT THE FILM ‘ WATER FOR ELEPHANTS’

Animal rights group appeal to Irish filmgoers.

A Video released today by Animal Defenders International shows the elephant that appears alongside Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson in the new film Water for Elephants, being beaten and electric shocked during training.

We in AFAR are now urging the General Public to boycott this film in IRELAND.

Press Officer Bernie Wright says ‘the animal defenders video released today shows  a 42 year old Asian Elephant being beaten and  electric –shocked to make her obey commands. Anywhere animals are used in performances one has to question the methods used in training. Unfortunately in circuses and in Films undercover investigations often reveal the darker  side of animal training, all too often this involves blatant cruelty as in this case. We commend ADL for exposing this animal violation. We are calling on Irish film goers to boycott this film. We intend to hand out flyers at cinemas in Dublin.’

Water for Elephants, a romantic drama set in a 1930s animal circus in the USA, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, is premiering all over the world this month, with the London premiere last Tuesday. But the biggest star of the film is 42-year-old Asian elephant Tai, who plays Rosie, supplied by the performing animal supplier Have Trunk Will Travel, of California. However, shocking video, filmed at Have Trunk Will Travel in 2005, and posted online today by Animal Defenders International (ADI) after the London premiere, tells a different story.

Watch the video here:
http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=2119&ssi=7

  • Elephants including Tai are repeatedly given electric shocks with hand-held stun guns
  • Tai cries out when being shocked into performing a headstand
  • Elephants, including Tai, are beaten about the body and legs with bull hooks
  • A baby elephant is hooked in the lip and cries out
  • An elephant is pinned with bull hooks while her tusks are sawed down, close to the bone

Jan Creamer, President of ADI, said: “We were uncomfortable with the message of this film, but the more we saw the repeated assertions that this elephant has been treated with love and affection and never been abused, we realized that we had to get the truth out. The public, the stars and the filmmakers have been duped. This poor elephant was trained to do the very tricks you see in the film by being given electric shocks.”

Kari Johnson, another of the founders of Have Trunk Will Travel, has previously stated: "Have Trunk Will Travel has never issued a written endorsement, nor does it condone using electrical devices to discipline and control elephants except in situations where elephant or human safety is at risk."

Gary Johnson and trainer Joanne Smith appear in the video giving the elephants electric shocks.

Bernie Wright

AFAR press Officer.

0872651720

AFAR and Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS)

Many of you will already be well aware of the website CAPS set up 2 years ago, with Dublin-based Alliance for Animal Rights, to expose the cruelty of animal circuses in Ireland - http://www.irishcircuses.org/  .We have updated various parts of the website, including details of which circuses currently have animals. Also updated are the factsheets on each circus detailing findings of our investigations.

http://www.irishcircuses.org/ is the only website to detail information about the cruelty to these animals all across Ireland.CAPS works closely with activists all over Ireland and can help with local campaigns, lobbying for council bans, etc. The website also now allows people to buy CAPS campaign materials and merchandise on-line as well as join or donate.Please add http://www.irishcircuses.org/ to your bookmarks, and help us end the use of animals in circuses.

NO WILD CIRCUS ANIMALS IN FINGAL. MOTION UNANIMOUSLY PASSED

"The idea that it is funny to see wild animals coerced into acting like clumsy humans, or thrilling to see powerful beasts reduced to cringing cowards by a whipcracking trainer is primitive and medieval. It stems from the old idea that we are superior to other species and have the right to hold dominion over them."

—Dr. Desmond Morris, anthropologist, animal behaviorist, author

ALLIANCE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS And CIRCUSWATCH IRELAND

NO WILD CIRCUS ANIMALS IN FINGAL. MOTION UNANIMOUSLY PASSED
'circuses which use wild animals are prohibited from performing in any part of the local authority area'

The Alliance for Animal Rights and Circuswatch Ireland welcomes last night's landmark decision by Fingal County Council. This decision instigated by Socialist Party's Cllr Clare Daly is the first of its kind in this country. It will mean that 'wild' animals will not be allowed perform in Circuses in the Fingal area. We congratulate all of the Council for making the unanimous compassionate decision which is the first of its kind in Ireland.

'We are looking on this as the beginning of the end for circuses with animals in Ireland. This is the first council to get this motion passed unanimously (despite the issue being raised in other areas in the past). Hundreds of emails were sent to Fingal councilors from animal rights activists which helped enlighten them on the plight of animals confined in the beastwagons of travelling circuses.' Bernie Wright, Press Officer AFAR'. See below for synopsis.

From Cllr Clare Daly..
However after a lengthy debate, which you will be able to view on the Council's webcast, www.fingalcoco.ie , go to Quick Links on the right hand column, and click on "View Council Meetings", the motion below was passed unanimously -

"That Fingal County Council supports the introduction of by-laws or other measures which would ensure that circuses which use wild animals are prohibited from performing in any part of the local authority area in light of the well-documented evidence of suffering endured by the animals involved and the serious animal welfare issues raised."

The issue will now be brought to the Community Strategic Policy Committee in order to work out the details of the By-Laws and how the decision can be implemented. Hopefully in this way a very comprehensive policy on the issue can be developed within the parameters of the motion that was passed.

While, I would have been happier if it was all animals, I believe that it is an important step forward, and I hope it can be used to assist debate in other local authorities. If I can be of any assistance at any time on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can honestly say that your emails and correspondence played a big part in getting the vote through. Keep up the pressure, as with everything else it's the only way to get results.

Circus watch Ireland urges council to take action on Circus Animal cruelty

Circus watch Ireland urges council to take action on Circus Animal cruelty

Contributed by Bernie Wright Press Officer Alliance for Animal Rights

Tuesday, 09 October 2007

Circus Watch Ireland and the Alliance for Animal Rights today hailed last night decision by Fingal County

Council to ban circuses using wild animal acts from public lands in the council area as ‘a milestone in the

campaign for an end to cruelty to circus animals.

Welcoming the ban, spokesperson for Circus Watch Ireland Nuala Donlon congratulated the Fingal councillors for

passing the motion and called on county and city councils throughout the republic to follow their example and impose similar bans.

This is an extremely important first step towards ending the Victorian practice of keeping wild animals in travelling

shows, and it reflects the growing opposition in this country to the cruelty to animals which is inherent in all animal circuses Ms. Donlon said.

The ban, the first of its kind in the Republic, follows years of campaigning by Circus Watch Ireland and the Alliance for Animal Rights. Both groups have continuously highlighted the conditions which circus animals are forced to live in and the dubious practices employed to get animals to ‘perform’ in the ring.

Ms. Donlon pointed out that similar bans have already been introduced by local authorities throughout the United

Kingdom and continental Europe. Earlier this year Anderenstown Council in Belfast passed a motion preventing circuses containing any animals from using council property while an identical motion will be voted on tomorrow night in Newtownabbey Council in Antrim.;We are calling on all county and city councillors in the Republic to follow the lead of their counterparts in Fingal Council and take the humane decision to ban circuses with animal acts from using public lands. In 2007 animals shouldnt be subjected to such appalling suffering in the name of entertainment. Ms. Donlon said.

Village - Politics, Media and Current Affairs in Ireland

 

Ireland Introduces First Ever Ban Of Wild Animals In Traveling Circuses (monkeys in the news)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ireland Introduces First Ever Ban Of Wild Animals In Traveling Circuses

A landmark decision by Fingal County Council in Dublin has resulted in the first ever ban of performing 'wild' animals in circuses in Ireland. The ban, announced after a unanimous vote by Council Members on 8th October, follows years of campaigning by Circus Watch Ireland and the Alliance for Animal Rights (AFAR), along with other campaign groups and prohibits wild animal acts from public lands in the council area.

The decision instigated by Socialist Party’s Cllr Clare Daly. According to media sources, Spokesperson for Circus Watch Ireland Nuala Donlon congratulated the Fingal councillors for passing the motion and called on county and city councils throughout the republic to follow their example and impose similar bans.

“This is an extremely important first step towards ending the Victorian practice of keeping wild animals in travelling shows, and it reflects the growing opposition in this country to the cruelty to animals which is inherent in all animal circuses”, Ms. Donlon said.

Animals in circuses live a life of restriction, cages, chains, physical abuse and neglect, and constant transportation. In the summer of 2006 the Captive Animals' Protection Society investigated animal circuses across Ireland to expose how the animals are treated and housed. A vet experienced in the behaviour and welfare of wild animals in captivity accompanied investigators on some of the visits, and investigators found that many animals lived their lives confined to pens and cages, or chained by the legs; the circuses moved on a regular basis (sometimes twice a week); some animals even faced gruelling journeys of up to 1,000 miles from across Europe to appear in Irish circuses.

Investigations carried out by other animal rights organisations also reveal that animals are routinely beaten and intimidated to make them perform, left without food or water, and often are not given proper medical care. Also, performing animals often become a danger to the public.

According to data records kept by AFAR, there have been 8 people injured by circus animals in Ireland and two people killed.

"We are looking on this as the beginning of the end for circuses with animals in Ireland. This is the first council to get this motion passed unanimously (despite the issue being raised in other areas in the past). Hundreds of emails were sent to Fingal councillors from animal rights activists which helped enlighten them on the plight of animals confined in the beastwagons of travelling circuses," stated Bernie Wright, Press Officer for AFAR.

GLUE TRAPS.PLEASE HELP AFAR to get the law implemented and to get these barbaric items removed from shops. 

 GLUE TRAPS.PLEASE HELP AFAR to get the law implemented and to get these barbaric items removed from shops 

GLUE TRAPS are clearly illegal in this country,see Dail question and answer below.  

#Glue traps, however, are an extremely cruel method of catching animals. We believe that if people understood the degree of cruelty associated with the use of glue traps, they would want no part of them.

A 1983 test that evaluated the effectiveness of glue traps found that trapped mice struggling to free themselves would pull out their own hair, exposing bare, raw areas of skin. The mice broke or even bit off their own legs, and the glue caused their eyes to become badly irritated and scarred. After three to five hours in the glue traps, the mice defecated and urinated heavily because of their severe stress and fear, and quickly became covered with their own excrement. Animals whose faces become stuck in the glue slowly suffocate, and all trapped animals are subject to starvation and dehydration. It takes anywhere from three to five days for the mouse to finally die. This is nothing less than torture.#

TO DO: 

What I want is for others on this list to check their local hardware shops over the next few days and report back to me the shop name, manager/owners name and phone number.

These traps cause untold suffering, they also have glue traps on sale for beetles etc. Imagine dying slowly from struggling to take your feet from this substance.These are an invention of a sick mind.

Please help AFAR to get rid of these already illegal items.

GET CHECKING NOW AND EMAIL US THE DETAILS  

Bernie 087 2651720

Alliance for Animal Rights. PO Box 4634. Dublin.1http://www.afarireland.org/

DAIL QUESTION:

Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the action being taken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to end the sale of unlawful glue traps from retail outlets here.

For written answer on Wednesday, 8th March, 2006.
Ref No: 9707/06

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Sale or possession of glue traps, other than in accordance with a licence issued by my Department, is prohibited under the Wildlife Act 1976 (Approved Traps, Snares and Nets) Regulations 2003. No licences are currently in force to permit the sale or possession of such traps.

My Department has, over the last 18 months, been involved in two court cases involving the unlawful possession of rodent glue traps. Recently a substantial quantity of mouse glue was seized at Dublin Port and a prosecution is being prepared. My Department is in contact with a major importer and distributor of these traps with a view to arranging the recall and destruction of all such traps 

GLUE TRAPS are clearly illegal in this country,see Dail question and answer below.  

#Glue traps, however, are an extremely cruel method of catching animals. We believe that if people understood the degree of cruelty associated with the use of glue traps, they would want no part of them.

A 1983 test that evaluated the effectiveness of glue traps found that trapped mice struggling to free themselves would pull out their own hair, exposing bare, raw areas of skin. The mice broke or even bit off their own legs, and the glue caused their eyes to become badly irritated and scarred. After three to five hours in the glue traps, the mice defecated and urinated heavily because of their severe stress and fear, and quickly became covered with their own excrement. Animals whose faces become stuck in the glue slowly suffocate, and all trapped animals are subject to starvation and dehydration. It takes anywhere from three to five days for the mouse to finally die. This is nothing less than torture.#

TO DO: 

What I want is for others on this list to check their local hardware shops over the next few days and report back to me the shop name, manager/owners name and phone number.

These traps cause untold suffering, they also have glue traps on sale for beetles etc. Imagine dying slowly from struggling to take your feet from this substance.These are an invention of a sick mind.

Please help AFAR to get rid of these already illegal items.

GET CHECKING NOW AND EMAIL US THE DETAILS  

Bernie 087 2651720

Alliance for Animal Rights. PO Box 4634. Dublin.1

DAIL QUESTION:

Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the action being taken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to end the sale of unlawful glue traps from retail outlets here. For written answer on Wednesday, 8th March, 2006.
Ref No: 9707/06 Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Sale or possession of glue traps, other than in accordance with a licence issued by my Department, is prohibited under the Wildlife Act 1976 (Approved Traps, Snares and Nets) Regulations 2003. No licences are currently in force to permit the sale or possession of such traps. My Department has, over the last 18 months, been involved in two court cases involving the unlawful possession of rodent glue traps. Recently a substantial quantity of mouse glue was seized at Dublin Port and a prosecution is being prepared. My Department is in contact with a major importer and distributor of these traps with a view to arranging the recall and destruction of all such traps

Plight of the animals with the tent-up lifestyle

  

Wednesday February 03 1999 irish independent

The wanton brutality of a legendary circus star once again highlights the issue of cruelty to the real stars of the Big Top. John Meagher reports. The wanton brutality of a legendary circus star once again highlights the issue of cruelty to the real stars of the Big Top. John Meagher reports.

The grainy video footage captures the wanton brutality of it all. The legendary circus star, 61-year old Mary Chipperfield, is secretly filmed whipping and kicking a young chimpanzee in a dark, dilapidated barn. Her husband a licenced government zoo inspector, Roger Cawley is caught savagely beating a sick elephant. And to complete a vicious trinity, their hired-hand Stephen Gillis, convicted of manslaughter in the 1970s is shown bashing elephants with iron bars, shovels and pitchforks.

Last week the so-called Queen of the Circus was found guilty of 12 counts of cruelty. As the circus industry is brought into disrepute with the conviction of Mary Chipperfield, calls are being renewed to completely ban the use of animals in circuses.The scandal of the Chipperfield empire could hardly have come at a better time for the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA). The society is spearheading a nationwide leaflet campaign urging people to boycott circuses. The campaign, which gets under way this month, targets schools and youth clubs in an effort to convince the core circus-going market to stay away.

The leaflet entitled Don't go to the Circus, alleges that performing animals are housed in cramped environments and are traumatised as a result of extensive travel. It also alleges that animals are ``tamed by fear'' and experience poor conditions during the winter when circuses grind to a halt. ``Please don't go to circuses using animals and encourage your family and friends to stay away too,'' the DSPCA urges in the leaflet. ``Your attendance will only keep these circuses going and continue to put in jeopardy the health and well-being of the animals involved. If circuses are not banned on council owned land in your area try to get your local authority to do so by writing them a letter.'' The director of the DSPCA, Maurice Byrne, says only so much can be done to prevent animal cruelty. ``There is no legislation specifically pertaining to performing animals,'' he says. ``We can only prosecute circus operators if they house animals in cages that are too small or it the travelling conditions are unacceptable. ``The DSPCA gets lots of complaint calls whenever a circus hits town,'' he says, pointing out that the society carried out ``three or four'' inspections on an Italian circus which visited Booterstown, Dublin, last year.

Ireland's 111-year-old circus, Fossett's, is sensitive about animal welfare and carries a lengthy statement about the animals in the programme. The statement quotes an RSPCA report that purportedly showed that circuses are not, by their nature, cruel. Manager Eddie Fossett says he is saddened that ``all circuses are being tarred with the same brush'' following the Chipperfield ruling. ``We've had animals for many years and they have thrived and we allow the public to view the animals in their living quarters after the performance,'' he says.Fossett's Circus runs from Easter to November and during peak times uses 20 animals and employs twice that number of staff. Eddie says the animals are ``never unattended''. ``To the best of my knowledge we have never had staff mistreat animals,'' he says. ``Anybody caught being cruel to animals would be fired on the spot.'' The circus, which is based in Lucan during the off-season, employs the services of the local vet, Michael Mitchell. ``Many of the tricks performed in circuses are normal,'' he says. ``Horses are used to carrying people on their backs so they have no problem with performing women standing on their backs. Elephants don't really feel any pain if they have to kneel.'' The vet admits that circus animals tend to have a shorter life span and can be more prone to disease: ``Circus horses can develop arthritis earlier than horses in normal environments. Many have to repeatedly run around the ring in the same direction which can damage the joints.''

Dr Kevin Dodd, a lecturer at the Veterinary Hospital in Ballsbridge, Dublin, believes that if performing animals are trained properly they can enjoy a stress-free life. ``Using 'the carrot' when training rather than coercion is the approach that any good trainer would take,'' he says. ``Animals are like humans if they are rewarded for behaving in a particular way when they are being trained, they will have no difficulty acting that way later on.'' Another leading Irish circus, Duffy's, can trace its origins to 1775. It tours for 10 months with animals performing up to 500 times in that period. An spokesman for Duffy's Circus, Bill Johnson, says ``there are always calls to ban animals from circuses''. He becomes irritable when asked for his comments on Mary Chipperfield. ``We have nothing to do with an arrogant Englishwoman who was an irresponsible animal trainer. She wasn't liked by the circus establishment,'' he says. Duffy's Circus was camped in Navan, Co. Meath when contacted by the Irish Independent and was about to travel to Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Bill Johnson's wife, Jennifer, is anxious to stress that the animals receive the best care. ``We get about 80,000 visitors every year and the vast majority of people have no problem with the tricks the animals perform,'' she says. Circus Florilegio, which toured Ireland in 1997, boasted exotic animals not normally seen performing in Ireland. According to Tyler Moore, Florilegio's Dublin-born publicist, the circus featured three elephants, a giraffe, a rhino, a hippo, camels and pythons.

``I am one of two exotic animal trainers to come out of Dublin,'' he says. ``I've always loved animals. Do you think I'd work in a circus they were treated badly?'' He has established the Entertainments and Leisure Services Association which he hopes will raise the standard of the circus industry in Europe.

According to Tyler Moore, Circus Florilegio played to packed houses on the Irish tour. But one thing bothers him about Ireland securing sites. South Dublin's traditional circus and entertainments site at Booterstown has already pulled the plug on a proposed visit from Florilegio earlier this year.

``We would never let that circus into the county again,'' says Patricia Potter of the Environment Department of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. ``They had far more animals there than they had declared. It was also clear to us that the circus was just too big for the site.``It is not for us to monitor what they are doing,`` she adds. ``It is my understanding that these people are monitored by the DSPCA. We have no difficulty in refusing a circus a site if the DSPCA come to us with specific reasons why a circus should be stopped.''``Circuses are dying out anyway,`` says Maurice Byrne of the DSPCA, adding that there are far superior attractions for children nowadays. But the show must go on for Ireland's circuses. Duffy's has already started its gruelling 32-county tour. Fossett's will be getting shaking out the sawdust in March. They can only hope that Mary Chipperfield's televised indiscretions don't affect the gate.

"Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife - birds, kangaroos, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice, foxes and dingoes - by the million in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billion and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year, sends out cards praying for Peace on Earth."

David Coats

Old MacDonald's Factory Farm

AFAR is a member of the INTERNATIONAL ANTI-FUR COALITION. See www.antifurcoalition.org

AFAR fully supports the SHAC prisoners.SHAC IRELAND see www.shac.net

http://www.shac.net/features/prisoners.html

click above for ANIMAL RIGHTS PRISONERS.

  • ACTION ALERTS: Join our mailing list by sending your name, address and email details to us. We need more people to join our persuasive 'people pester' group of emailers! There is pressure in numbers.One email asking nicely is great but a few hundred emails is never ignored.
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  • DONATE TO AFAR: Our volunteers are unpaid but Flyers, printing, fuel, display boards etc. are costly.Please send whatever you can afford to help us do more for animals.fundraising takes away valuable campaigning time.
  • WISH LIST: If anyone has a multi-seater vehicle or an advertising trailer either going cheap or simply 'going' please give us a call. We could really use them and you would be helping animals too.
  • CAR BOOT SALES: We need saleable items for our car boot sales,anything considered.Its saving the planet too!

Ban stupid people not dogs. see domesticated animals section for news