Elephants from the Berlin Zirkus. T. BELCHER
Following several requests from animal lovers to do something about the conditions in which some circus animals are kept, Alhaurín el Grande based charity ARCH (Andalucian Rescue Centre for Horses), approached Alhaurín el Grande council to see whether there is a way of preventing the town from issuing licences to travelling circuses that use animals as part of their shows.
A representative from ARCH told SUR in English: “The councillor we spoke to told us that the town hall doesn’t like the idea of animal based circuses but that without objections from residents, there really are not any reasons to refuse to issue licences to the circuses.”
Other animal charities based in the same area are now adding their concerns to those raised by ARCH and between them they hope to engage people living in the area to let the council know their views on the use of animals in circuses. Denise Whitehair from CHAIN (CHarity for Animals In Need) said “I personally don’t think there should be animals in circuses. How can anyone look after an elephant properly on the road?”
CHAIN and ARCH received further support from Animals in Distress (A.I.D.) and SOS Animals Spain, who will now also share their views with Alhaurín el Grande council in an effort to prevent animal circuses from visiting the town.
Elephants in chains
Tony Byford from SOS Animals said “There are issues in some circuses with the way they keep and treat their animals. You sometimes see elephants with chains around their necks or stuck in cages that they can hardly move around in.”
Jan Safont Ruiz from A.I.D. said she has seen some of the conditions in which some circus animals are over-wintered in the UK and describes them as “terrible”, and added that when elephants are not looked after and kept in cramped conditions they often become stressed and can be seen to be rocking from side to side.
“I love circuses,” said Jan, “But only the ones with human performers. Animals have no place in the circus.”
All four charities hope to persuade Alhaurín town hall to take a stand against the use of circus animals in the same way it did in banning the ‘running of the bulls’ as part of the town’s feria three years ago.
The council ban followed the release of a video showing a young cow which appeared to have been beaten and punched to death by youths during a street fair in the town.