The terrible plight of Anne the elephant at Bobby Roberts Circus has just been reported in the Daily Mail after an Animal Defenders International video came to light. I was shocked to discover that this circus - which has held this poor animal captive for 55 years - will soon be 'performing' locally to me in Knutsford (Cheshire) and then in Leigh (Wigan).
Travellers are becoming increasingly aware of their ethical responsibilities when they visit other countries, and circuses are a major 'no no' when it comes to responsible travel. But it seems Cheshire East and Wigan councils are not on board with the ethical issues that arise from using animals purely for human entertainment in this manner.
Do the towns of Knutsford and Leigh really want to offer such an 'attraction' when they are aware of what has gone on in regards to the cruelty towards Anne the elephant?
Even in situations where animals are reported to be cared for, circuses no longer have a place in today's world. Animals should not be held captive for the duration of their lifetime just for our amusement. Anne the elephant has spent 55 years in these conditions, when I'm sure she'd have preferred to be roaming wild with her mates than to be playing tricks for us (through the force of harrowing beatings).
It's high time the UK government banned circuses using live animals from performing, and start again to become a role model for other countries to follow when it comes to animal welfare (although current Agriculture Minister James Plaice is seeing to it that we go backwards in this respect).
Animals in captivity, especially performing ones, should never be a tourist attraction.