The unfortunate situation that has caused much friction and exceptionally poor national press for British circus and, subsequently, poor appreciation for its great art and artistes has been the discussion about wild performing animals. We set Artistes United to appreciate and promote the greatest of acts and performers. However the industry (that used to be self governing) has now passed total control or management for the use of performing animals to the government department for animal welfare – DEFRA. It is stated that the government may consider a wild animal ban in British circus as from 2021. Artistes United favours a sound professional approach to inform the public about the training and requirement for the use of all animals that must include those away from circus that appear in films and television, and we have suggested circus promotes a special website to do this. Unfortunately this has not been done but instead various social media groups have come into play not always in unison and, at times, have been unwise and lacking direction for circus art and welfare. It is clear that neither Equity (representing the artistes) or the Circus Proprietors Association would give approval to some of the deliveries of these forums. Personally I set up this website, as you see, for the interests of performing artistes. however, I list the voices that promotionally place the inclusion of animals in a higher placing. one group The Circus Guild has recently met with the Welsh Assembly to approve the use of wild animals there and to represent animals to the film industry. It is not fair to interpret that circus (artistes) should be used as perhaps a decoy for the film industry that uses a huge number of animals not always in the best circumstances around the world. Traditional circus was on site 24/7 to care for any animals.
The statement below is from the webpages of, The Association of Circus Proprietors. This is the only statement concerning the issue of performing animals. The association is the main body to deal with national authorites for circus (for all issues). There is no authority given in any form for animal supporters to comfront animal rights groups, to engage in any covert activity with the local press, or verbally criticise circus artistes or celebrities.
‘There are no members of the ACP currently using non domestic animals in their shows. The ACP policy is that it is for individual members to decide whether they wish to use animals, provided that the best standards of animal welfare and husbandry supported by strict veterinary inspections can be illustrated. The ACP welcomes the Government’s recently introduced circus animal inspection scheme but considers that the requirements may not be sufficiently strict or, in parts, are illogical and has made representations to that effect. The ACP has acknowledged that there are certain species of wild or exotic animals which are inappropriate for use in a travelling circus’.