Actress Jorja Fox announces new ADI campaign to end the use of animals in circuses at a press conference in Austin.
AUSTIN, TX (July 11, 2008) – Actress Jorja Fox spoke at a press conference in Austin to announce a new campaign to end the use of animals in circuses. A shocking new DVD featuring animal suffering in U.S. circuses was screened by Animal Defenders International (ADI). Some of the most savage violence exposed in the new DVD was inflicted on two elephants with Bailey Brothers Circus touring Texas – the elephants had been supplied to the circus by a facility in Cut and Shoot, Texas just three hours from the state capital. ADI says that horrific abuse of animals can be taking place right on people’s doorsteps without them realising.
Watch footage collected by ADI Field Officers working undercover inside Bailey Brothers Circus
Jorja Fox then handed over the reports and footage to city officials with a letter from ADI requesting a move for a city-wide ban on animal circuses, which will be followed by a drive for state wide action. A Spanish language version of the DVD and leaflets also aim to engage the Latin American communities in Texas in the campaign to end the suffering.
The campaign had also already gained other high profile supporters including Alicia Silverstone, Kristy McNichol, Anna Maria Horsford and Dan Piraro.
Following this preview screening of the new DVD in Austin a new national campaign to end the use of animals in travelling circuses was launched in New York. The disturbing new DVD and scientific report were sent to the U.S. Congress, raising new issues to be addressed politically that will see the campaign escalate in the coming months. Austin was chosen for the preview because ADI worked undercover with Bailey Brothers Circus as it toured through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Missouri. The elephants they witnessed suffering horrific abuse were from a facility at Cut and Shoot, forty miles north of Houston. Their abuse included:
- A female elephant dragged to her knees and kicked in the face.
- Electric shocks being given to the elephants during training sessions, and also shocks to their stomachs when they were walking to the ring to perform.
- An elephant hit with a golf club.
- Elephants chained by the legs barely able to move.
ADI U.S. President Jan Creamer: “The abuse captured by the field officers in our expose is truly shocking. In addition to the violence we have uncovered, it is time for the public and community leaders to accept that even with the best will in the world, it is not possible for circuses to adequately care for animals when they are living in temporary accommodation and moving location every week. We believe that the people of Austin, and indeed throughout Texas, will be absolutely horrified to learn that this cruelty in the name of entertainment took place right on their doorstep.”
ADI have also launched a major outreach campaign to Texas’s Latin communities with Spanish versions of the campaign materials. Having recently achieved considerable success in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, and with offices in Lima and Bogota, ADI believes Latin communities represent a reservoir of compassionate supporters for animal causes who have not yet been mobilized. The Latin American communities are targeted by circuses and have not yet had the opportunity to find out the truth behind the circus shows.
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About Animal Defenders International:
Animal Defenders International exists to educate, create awareness and alleviate the suffering of animals and work to protect wildlife and the environment. ADI lobbies governments for measures to protect animals and the environment, and organises the rescue of animals in distress. We have rehomed circus lions, tigers, chimpanzees and other animals and placed in sanctuaries where we maintain them for life. Where appropriate, ADI assists authorities by providing evidence for prosecutions for animal cruelty. Currently ADI is working with governments in the UK, Peru and Colombia on legislative moves to end the use of animals in travelling circuses. At the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), ADI’s campaign secured new rules for the cross border movements of endangered species with travelling animal exhibitions in 170 countries. ADI US Inc is based in San Francisco.
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