Stop Circus Suffering

The Mary Chipperfield Trial: the aftermath

It was a bad blow that the CPS did not ask the magistrate to remove the couple’s Dangerous Wild Animals Act licence, impose a ban, or request that Mary Chipperfield’s name be removed from the Performing Animal trainers’ register.

However, Animal Defenders soon got on the case to try to do what we could to repair the damage left by the CPS by launching a massive letter writing campaign to the two authorities involved.

The relevant legislation is this; Section 4(2) of the 1925 Performing Animals (Regulation) Act states that the court may order that a person’s name be removed from the register once convicted of an offence of cruelty to animals.

Section 6(2) of the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act states the same, that a licence may be cancelled by the court at which the person has been convicted. Furthermore, the court can impose a ban on keeping animals listed under this Act.

We therefore appealed to MPs, our many AD supporters and animal rights groups to help us by urging them to send relevant letters to;

The Environmental Health Officer at Test Valley District Council asking that they cancel the Mary Chipperfield Promotions Dangerous Wild Animals Act licence for Croft Farm.

The Senior Animal Health Inspector at the Corporation of London, asking that they remove Mary Chipperfield’s name from their Performing Animals (Regulation) Act register.

Previous to the sentencing, we had also appealed to the Under Secretary of State at the Department of the Environment to remove Roger Cawley from the Government Zoo Inspectors’ List, stressing the obvious point that someone who had been convicted of cruelty to animals should have no place on this list at all.

The relevant authorities were all inundated with letters, and although we didn’t achieve what we wanted, these letters and the Chipperfield trial all brought to their attention the grim reality of the performing animal industry.

In October we learned that Suzanne Cawley (Chipperfield – Mary & Roger’s daughter), had applied to Test Valley Council for a new Dangerous Wild Animals Act (DWAA) Licence (these licences need to be renewed yearly) for the facility owned by her parents, Mary and Roger Cawley, at Croft Farm in Hampshire.

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