Owner guilty of elephant cruelty

A circus owner has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering an elephant in Northamptonshire. The court was shown secret footage of the animal being hit with a pitchfork by a groom.

Live updates

RSPCA: 'Pity' actual perpetrators could not be prosecuted

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said it was unfortunate that those who actually abused Anne the elephant could not be prosecuted. Spokeswoman Jody Gordon said:

Anyone looking at this shocking footage can see how this poor elephant suffered, and this clearly spells out how completely unacceptable this is.

It is only a pity those physically beating Anne in the film footage could not be prosecuted also.

Advertisement

Circus owner found guilty of three counts of animal cruelty

Animal Defenders International secretly filmed Anne the Asian elephant being mistreated. This man is not the circus owner, Bobby Roberts. Credit: Animal Defenders International

A circus owner has been given a three-year conditional discharge after being found guilty of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Anne the Asian elephant.

Animal Defenders International secretly filmed the elephant being mistreated at Super Circus in Polebrook, Cambridgeshire.

Animal Defenders International filmed Anne the Asian elephant last year between January and February. This man is not the circus owner. Credit: Animal Defenders International

Bobby Roberts was also convicted of failing to prevent an employee from repeatedly beating the animal, which was filmed chained to the ground, and being hit with a pitchfork.

Animal Defenders International secretly filmed Anne the Asian elephant being mistreated. This picture is not of the circus owner. Credit: Animal Defenders International

Roberts claimed he was unaware that Anne had been constantly chained and that the groom, who is believed to have returned home to Romania, had not followed his instructions.

To watch parts of the recording of the abuse, go to ITV Anglia. Some viewers may find the footage upsetting.

Circus owner convicted of mistreating elephant

Anne recovering at Longleat Credit: PA

A circus owner has been found guilty of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Anne - a performing Asian elephant.

Bobby Roberts was also convicted of failing to prevent an employee from repeatedly beating the animal.

The 69-year-old, who ran Super Circus in Polebrook, Cambridgeshire, also failed to ensure the elephant's needs were met by not giving her medication for her arthritis.

His wife Moira, 75, was cleared of all three charges by District Judge David Chinnery following a five-day trial at Northampton Crown Court.

Back to top