Friday 4 May, 10am, Corby Magistrates Court, Northants
This Friday, ADI representatives will attend the fourth pre-trial hearing of the landmark case against Bobby and Moira Roberts, who will lay out their defence on charges that they failed in their duty of care to protect Anne, the UK’s last circus elephant, who was filmed by ADI, being beaten and kicked by a worker at their winter quarters in Polebrook last year.
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Mr and Mrs Roberts have been jointly charged with the following offences, to which they pleaded not guilty at the preliminary hearing of the case on 1 December 2011:
- Causing the elephant to suffer unnecessarily, by requiring the elephant to be chained to the ground at all times, contrary to section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006
- Failing to take reasonable steps to prevent their employee from causing unnecessary suffering to the elephant, by repeatedly beating it, contrary to section 4(2) of the same Act
- Failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of the elephant were met to the extent required by good practice, contrary to section 9 of the same Act.
The trial will start on 18 June 2012 at Corby Magistrates Court and, although originally scheduled for two days, has now been extended to a week.
This will be the first trial of a circus under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and ADI believes this will test whether the intention of the Act, which is that owners are responsible for the daily life of their animals, can be upheld.