Monday, 12 June 2017

Scottish Government’s proposed ban on wild animals in travelling circuses




The Scottish government has proposed banning wild animals in travelling circuses.  In the same vein as a proposed ban by the British government, they have said that they wish to ban wild animals in circuses based on ethical considerations although this premise has already been open to criticism by at least one academic ethicist.


In the case of a British ban, they chose to go down the ethical route because research by DEFRA in 2007 came to the conclusion that banning circuses with animals in could not be undertaken on welfare grounds.  However, in December 2012, the British government decided to introduce legislation which involved the inspection and licensing of circuses with wild animals and any plans for a ban have now faulted.  Likewise, the Welsh assembly investigated a ban of wild animals in circuses.  However, it seems likely that the Welsh assembly will follow the British example of introducing an inspection and licensing scheme.

I have made clear my personal feelings that I would prefer regulation of animals in circuses which a number of countries have undertaken.  Some backgrounds on my position can be found in the blog linked below.



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The End of Circuses. The End of Zoos?




    The End of Circuses, The End of Zoos?


 I also find it incredibly depressing how many people within zoo industry (some who regularly contribute to the various forums on social media) seem to be completely in denial about what is going on.


The Scottish Parliament is proposing a ban on wild animals in circuses.  The interesting thing about the proposed Scottish ban is that they wish to undertake this on ethical grounds not as an issue of animal welfare.   

The British government adopted a similar position because they clearly stated that there was no grounds to ban animals in circuses on welfare grounds because it was not supported by the available scientific evidence.  Nevertheless, the British government propose ban has not taken place and decided to introduce regulation and inspection to ensure the welfare of circus animals in December 2014.  Moreover, it seems that the Welsh assembly is also going to adopt a regulation and inspection process rather than an original plan to ban wild animals in circuses. 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Plans to ban pet keeping move one step nearer?






It is interesting that the Blue Cross animal charity has decided to get into bed with the Born Free Foundation in compiling this research.  The alliance of what were traditional animal welfare groups siding with the animal-rights movement should be of concern to all professional animal keepers.

Many of those who regularly read my personal blog are aware of my concerns at the encroaching mission creep that can be witnessed within the animal-rights movement as regarding the keeping of animals is both in zoos and aquariums and also as pets.  The continuing campaign was recently highlighted again in the ongoing attack on the keeping of various species of animals as pets.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper was among a number of members of the media to cover a story on a report undertaken by the animal welfare group Blue Cross and the animal-rights group The Born Free Foundation called One Click Away.   

Monday, 23 November 2015

Animal-Rights: Entertainment, Education and Money







Whether animals are used in entertainment or educational situations is actually irrelevant to the animals concerned.  They have no way of understanding the reason or context of their life in captive care.


Supporters of the animal-rights lobby will use various arguments or position statements that actually have no relevance to any debate or argument involving animal welfare.  One of the rhetorical statements often made, particularly within social media, is that animals are being used for "entertainment" and "financial gain".  This may well be true, but not only is this statement misleading, it also has nothing to do with animal welfare.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

HSUS: Zoos, Sanctuaries and Accreditation






First, it should be pointed out to The Humane Society of the United States that all zoos and wildlife parks that display wild animals in the UK are accredited. This accreditation is based on the U.K.'s Zoo Licensing Act that was introduced in 1981. This legally obliges all these facilities to be subjected to inspection and licensing on a periodic basis.


Lots of things annoy me but professionally perhaps one of the most irksome things I keep seeing in the discourse between the animal-rights and animal welfare lobby - as regards to zoos - is the animal-rights lobbyists insistence of promoting their sanctuaries are somehow divorced from zoological collections.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Damian Aspinall and a touch of zoochosis

The blog reproduced below was originally published in August 2013. I removed the blog because I felt that maybe I had been a little bit unfair in my criticism of Damian Aspinall.  However, with the recent news of a number of tragic deaths involved in one of his gorilla re-introductions in the Gabon and his continuous claiming of some kind of moral high ground (most recently in a CBS News documentary) I felt it was probably opportune to reinstate this blog




Damian Aspinall is at it again but this time in The Daily Mail.  To hear him speak, you really imagine that this man has morphed into a clone of Will Travers.  Moreover, as soon as someone coins the word 'zoochosis' you know what you are about to read is basically bollocks.  As a disease or condition, 'zoochosis' does not exist. It was actually made up by the Born Free Foundation (Zoo Check) many years ago as an anti-zoo buzzword for their 1993 The Zoochotic Report.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Animals in circuses! Has the Sun Gone Green?

 

"Circuses are licensed by central government. If you wish to see why and how they are licensed go to the Defra website"

The U.K.'s largest circulation tabloid daily newspaper The Sun could hardly be called a paper that supports the lunatic fringe of the left such as The Green Party. 

However, in a recent article penned by "animal welfare campaigner" Stanley Johnson demonstrates just how this newspaper is not familiar with the tactics of the animal-rights lobbyists. In this instance, the puppet masters are Animal Defenders International (ADI) a group well-known for its manipulation of well-meaning but gullible animal-loving celebrities such as Brian Blessed. Moreover it is no surprise that the appearance of this feature article comes a day before ADI are due yet again to visit 10 Downing Street for yet another celebrity led photo opportunity in its bid to try and ban animals in circuses in Britain.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Animals Rights and Fallacy of the Nonhuman Persons





This dubious and vexatious litigation makes a complete mockery of the whole concept of habeas corpus.  Moreover, it has absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare and everything to do with the political ideology of animal-rights.


It is rather depressing that the media does not seem to know the difference between animal welfare and animal-rights.  The most recent demonstration of this inability to tease these two issues apart appeared in the Green section of the Huffington Post website and relates to a story of an orangutan in Buenos Aires zoo lifted from the Reuters News Agency.     

Acting on legal overtures by the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) using a habeas corpus petition, on 21 December 2014 the Argentinean High Court appears to have ruled that this animal is deemed to be a 'nonhuman person'.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Are the BBC dancing to the tune of the animal-rights activists?



 "We are very proud of Our Zoo and would like to thank all those involved...However, in order to create room for new shows and to keep increasing the range of BBC One drama we sometimes have to make hard choices and it will not be returning for a second series - BBC Spokesperson"


  
As reported in the last blog regarding the BBC television series 'Our Zoo', a number of animal-rights groups e.g. The Born Free Foundation, Captive Animal Protection Society and Wild Futures were very quick to lobby the Corporation over the use of trained animals in this series. These groups further insinuated that the company used to supply the trained animals for the series Amazing Animals had a record of cruelty. 

Whilst there is absolutely no evidence to support such claims it seems possible that the BBC has decided to collude with these groups and has cancelled a second series of this popular drama which viewed by 5 million people and was also nominated for two National Television Awards.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Our Zoo: Animal Cruelty?




Was the BBC's "Our Zoo" Guilty of Animal Cruelty?

So the BBC produces a series based on the life of George Mottershead and his family’s creation of Chester Zoo, and surprise, surprise out of the woodwork come the usual self-promoting members of the animal-right lobby.
 

Chester Zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1931 by George Mottershead and his family it later became the North of England Zoological Society in 1934.  I have known friends and colleagues who actually worked at the zoo during Mottershead's reign.  I further remember visiting the zoo on a number of occasions when I live in the North of England and also reading June Johns book "Zoo without Bars".
 

In 2014, the BBC's announced a six part drama/documentary series based on the life and work of Mottershead called 'Our Zoo'.   The first episode broadcast in the UK in September 2014.   Of course, to make a drama of the development of any zoo requires not only human but also animal actors; in this case the production company engaged the specialist animal training company Amazing Animals.