Elephant suffering trial

A circus couple from Northamptonshire are due to go on trial accused of causing unnecessary suffering to an elephant.

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Animal rights group: circus owner's sentence 'derisory'

Despite the considerable suffering caused to Anne the elephant, the sentencing meted out to Mr Roberts is derisory and provides no faith that the Animal Welfare Act can protect animals in circuses.”

“Inspection after inspection fails to identify this abuse. In addition, so many industry witnesses admitted this is acceptable practice; indeed the defence claimed Anne should not be chained all day but for a staggering 13.5 hours a day, more than four times as much as is permitted in zoos. These practices will not stop until the use of wild animals in circuses is prohibited by law.”

– Animal Defenders International Chief Executive, Jan Creamer



Elephant owner 'disgusted' by cruelty footage

The owner of a circus elephant said he was disgusted when he saw footage of the animal being struck with a pitchfork.

Bobby Roberts is accused of allowing his staff to beat Anne - a 58 year old Asian elephant - at the Circus's winter quarters at Polebrook near Peterborough.

He told District Judge David Chinnery at Northampton Crown Court that he had no knowledge of the behaviour towards the elephant

Owner unaware elephant was constantly chained

The court has been shown footage filmed secretly by animal welfare group Animal Defenders International (ADI) of the animal being beaten at the circus's winter quarters in Polebrook, Cambridgeshire, last year.

The footage, filmed last year, also showed Anne constantly chained to the ground.

The elderly elephant could be seen chained by one foot and one hind leg in a barn. The legs of the animal - who the prosecution allege was not receiving medication for its arthritis - could also be seen to buckle several times.

Mr Roberts told the court he was unaware Anne was constantly chained.

Roberts and his wife also deny a charge of failing to ensure the elephant's needs were met by not giving her medication for her arthritis.

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