Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Charity renews call to ban wild animals in circuses
A tiger owned by British cat trainer Alexander Lacey has been shot dead by police in the USA (Stock image).
British-owned tiger shot dead in USA after escaping 

A leading wildlife charity has renewed its call to the UK government to implement its long-promised ban on wild animals in circuses.

The call by Animal Defenders International (ADI) comes a day after a tiger owned by British by cat trainer Alexander Lacey was shot dead by police in the USA.

The tiger, named Suzy, escaped on Wednesday (6 September) whilst being taken from Florida to Tennessee. During a stopover in Georgia, Suzy entered a residential area and became aggressive to pets. As such, Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources deemed it necessary for public safety to put her down.

Transporter Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling bros Circus, stated that didn’t know Suzy was missing until they had reached their destination, raising questions as to whether the big cats were properly checked.

Following the closure of Ringling bros Circus earlier this year, Mr Lacey plans to take his animals to a circus in Germany. An application to export the cats from the US was opposed by ADI and other groups as well as members of the public. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is yet to announce a decision on whether the permit is granted.

Tim Phillips, president of ADI, said:“When things go wrong in wild animal circuses they go seriously wrong. Aside from the public danger, this tiger has paid with her life for a human error, all in the name of frivolous entertainment.

“Alexander Lacey is heading to Germany but could be back in Britain whenever he likes with his lions and tigers living on the backs of trucks. We have had promise after promise that the government will ban this archaic cruelty. Do we really need yet another horrific expose of abuse or a tiger shot dead in the street for them to act?”

Over the years, ADI has recorded a catalogue of abuse at circuses owners by Alexander’s father, Martin Lacey Snr. They include tigers being hit with whips and elephants being abused, punched and hit with brooms. They also found that lions and tigers were being confined in transporters for periods of up to 27 hours.

In a statement, ADI said that, given constant travel and their temporary nature, ‘circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically of psychologically healthy.’

The organisation continued: ‘As well as vets, the continued use of wild animals in circuses is widely opposed by animal welfare experts, animal protection groups, politicians and a huge majority of the public. In response to a consultation by Defra on the issue, 94.5 per cent of respondents supported a ban.
‘Nearly 40 countries around the world have introduced prohibitions on animals in circuses to date. In the UK, the Scottish Government has recently introduced a bill to ban wild animal acts, while a similar commitment for England has yet to progress, despite legislation being drafted, scrutinised and ready to go.’

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."