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Circus owner Bobby Roberts said he wouldn't condone the ill-treatment of animals.
The 69-year-old told District Judge David Chinnery at Northampton Crown Court he had no knowledge of the behaviour towards the 58-year-old Asian elephant.
He said: "It's disgraceful, disgusting. I can't tell you what I would have done. The police would have been involved. Still now when I think about it, it goes through me, I just can't believe it."
Roberts and his wife Moira, 75, from Oundle, deny causing unnecessary suffering and failing to prevent an employee from repeatedly beating Anne.
The owner of a circus elephant, accused of allowing his staff to beat the animal, said he was disgusted when he saw the footage of a groom striking her with a pitchfork in Cambridgeshire.
Bobby Roberts, 69, who owns Bobby Roberts Super Circus, said it was "disgraceful and disgusting".
The trial of Bobby and Moira Roberts - the circus owners accused of causing the unnecessary suffering of their elephant Anne at their barn in Polebrook near Peterborough - continued today.
Today the court heard from Jan Creamer, the chief executive of Animal Defenders International - the group which secretly filmed the elephant being beaten with a pitch fork.
She denied that the keeper hitting the elephant had been employed and planted by her organisation. The Roberts deny all the charges and the case continues.
The owners of a circus based in Northamptonshire have appeared in court accused of causing unnecessary suffering to Britain's oldest elephant.
Footage of a circus elephant being kicked and hit with a pitchfork was today shown at the trial of a husband and wife who are accused of causing it unnecessary suffering.
Bobby and Moira Roberts appeared at Northampton Crown Court accused of having kept the 58-year-old Asian elephant, called Anne, constantly chained to the ground at the Bobby Roberts Super Circus in Polebrook, Cambridgeshire.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Helen Law played video footage to Northampton Crown Court which showed the animal being struck several times by staff, kicked and hit with the pitchfork.
Mr and Mrs Roberts, of Brook Farm, Oundle, Northamptonshire, deny all the charges.
The trial is about to begin of Bobby and Moira Roberts from Northamptonshire who are accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a circus elephant called Anne.
The charges can be summarised as:
1) Causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, by chaining itsfoot and hind leg to the ground.
2) Failing to prevent an employee causing unnecessary suffering byrepeatedly beating her.
3) Failing to meet the needs of a protected animal for which they were responsible.
Latest ITV News reports
Circus owner Bobby Roberts is sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering to Europe's oldest elephant
A husband and wife from Northamptonshire are due to go on trial today accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a circus elephant.