Anne the Elephant Update

As you may be aware, we documented the plight of Anne, the last British circus elephant, a couple of weeks ago here at Vegangstaz. We also recommended signing up to show your support for her being rehomed, and I’m glad to say thanks to those who did show your support. Anne, who has been with the Bobby Roberts Super Circus for over 50 years, is going to be at peace now as she’s been rehomed to Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, UK.

Anne's terrible treatment has not gone unnoticed

Anne, who’s torment was highly apparent in the short time in which she was filmed undercover, received massive support with over 7,000 people signing the petition to have her removed from the circus. According to a spokesperson for Longleat “Annie coped with the journey admirably well, is safe, well and beginning to settle into her new surroundings. In the coming days and weeks a team of three dedicated keepers will provide her with the tender loving care she needs around the clock. She will also receive a full health check and be provided with the best possible veterinary treatment.” This sounds like a far cry from her previous treatment.

Her previous owners, Bobby and Moira Roberts, who state that they were unaware of Anne’s abuse, say that having her removed is like “losing a child.” However, I find it somewhat difficult to sympathise with the couple seeing as they were willingly using an arthritic animal, which does not even belong in our climate, regularly for their own money-making gain. They can’t have been that close to Anne if her suffering went completely unnoticed to them too.

Vegangstaz would also like to highlight how impressed we were by Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP, as after we emailed her about our issues with Anne she replied promptly and positively. The email went as follows:

Thank you for your recent email about the appalling cruelty suffered by Annie the elephant at the Roberts’s Super circus. Her case upset me enormously and I have signed this Early Day Motion about her treatment:

That this House congratulates Animal Defenders International for its undercover work in filming appalling abuse and ill-treatment of 58-year-old elephant, Anne, belonging to circus owner Bobby Roberts; thanks The Daily Mail for publicising the ill-treatment of the elephant and other animals; calls on the Government and other agencies immediately to suspend licences issued to Roberts’ Super Circus pending an investigation including the involvement of the police; and urges the Government to ban any species of wild animal in a travelling circus, a policy which a consultation has shown would be backed by 95 per cent. of the population.

As you may know, the vast majority of members of the public support a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and I have been working with campaigns like the Captive Animal Protection Society to ensure that Ministers act in accordance with public opinion. It is a critical time and as a signatory to EDM 403 I have urged the Government to introduce a ban. I have also been keeping up pressure on the Government to end the delay in making an announcement about its policy, including via parliamentary questions like the one pasted below.

As a Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Animal Welfare Group, I have been raising awareness amongst other MPs of the suffering endured by wild animals like Annie in circuses. I am encouraged that so many of my colleagues have added their support to the campaign for a ban and recognise that voluntary measures by the circus industry are not good enough.

Thank you for your commitment to protecting animals and for taking the time to write to me. I hope that one day we can guarantee no animals will suffer in travelling circuses and I will continue to work hard towards this end.

This is a great result for animal rights issues, and an even better result for Anne, so keep at it y’all!

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