More than 2,500 people sign petition calling for ban on animal circuses
by Francesca Vella
More than 7100 people have signed a petition set up just six days ago calling for a ban on animal circuses. Animal rights activists are again disappointed that there will be performances by two animal circuses as early as 8 November, throughout December and probably january.
The petition, which was set up by Fleur Marie Cilia Buckett, president of voluntary group World Events to End Animal Cruelty (WEEAC) Malta, is one of a number of other initiatives calling for a ban on animal circuses. These include another petition that was set up by the Circus Animal Rights Coalition – made up of about 20 NGOs – a few years back.
Over the years, various NGOs have also organised a number of educational activities to raise awareness on the matter, as well as demonstrations to express their disapproval of animal circuses and to explain that circus animals are subjected to unnecessary cruelty.
Ms Cilia Buckett, who has given talks to students about the suffering that circus animals go through, told this newspaper: “All circuses deny captive-born wild animals of their need to exhibit their natural behaviours. In an age when Cirque du Soleil has shown us the beauty of human performances again, why are we still stuck in the Middle Ages, bringing over animal circuses with their cruel practices?”
She noted that Bolivia was the first country to ban all animals from circuses. In Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece are the two countries that have banned all animals from circuses. Ms Cilia Buckett quoted Animal Defenders International as saying that Austria and Croatia currently have bans on wild animal acts, and several European countries including Portugal and Denmark have measures to ban or phase out wild animals in circuses.
Ms Cilia Buckett added that the Great British Circus (GBC) has given up its use of animals, meaning that there are now only seven animal circuses in the UK: Bobby Roberts Circus, Circus Mondao, Circus Tyanna, Gifford’s Circus, Peter Jolly’s Circus, Robert Brothers Circus, and Zippo’s Circus.
Animal Aid said in a statement two months ago that animal campaigners reacted with joy as the GBC confirmed that it will no longer use animals in its performances. The news came after concerted efforts by local activists, who have held regular demonstrations outside GBC performances, educating the public about the cruelty and exploitation involved.
“Last year, following a debate in parliament, MPs declared their unanimous support for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. The public had already indicated their opposition to such exploitation, with 94% of people who responded to a government public consultation on the issue calling for a ban.”
Animal Aid said that rather than implementing such a policy straight away, the government is planning to set up a costly and complex licensing regime. The fact that the GBC has decided to stop using animals in its performances, shows that it has realised that people no longer consider this kind of animal exploitation in the name of entertainment to be morally justifiable.
Many thanks to the author of this article Francesca Vella of the Malta Independent for allowing me to share it with you all.
Original article can be found at – http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=152564
Fleur Marie Cilia Buckett is the president of the voluntary group WEEAC MALTA Worldwide events end animal cruelty. A woman who is extremely passionate about her cause, she has just organised her second dog walk, a peaceful event for animal lovers and all dogs. Despite various activities taking place on last Saturday, it was huge success which took the animal lovers from Ta’Xbiex near the Black Pearl to Bisazza Street, Sliema and ended with a candle lit vigil. Present for the event were David Agius, Simone Cini and a representative from AD while Shauna Vassallo performed a heartbreaking song called Fejn.
In her speech, Ms Cilia Buckett (pictured below) thanked the Hon. George Pullicino for finishing the horse shelters in Valletta. She pointed out that while protecting our tradition is important, this does not justify the misery inflicted on these animals, whose plight is shocking to many tourists who witness it.
Why can’t our traditions take place after 6pm in summer with karrozin rides being offered in the evening? Apart from being a lovely experience, it’s a lot less cruel to animals.
Weeac (Worldwide Events End Animal Cruelty) is a fairly new concept in Malta. Last year’s first walk was a success, with around 200 people attending . This is an annual event and an annual opportunity to raise awareness on this issue.
The organisation hopes to focus on stray animals, and the need to have them neutered while more educational initiatives and campaigns endorsed and supported by government need to be implemented.
The sponsors for the event included Sarah and Charlie Cardona of Blends of Nature Christopher Bonello of Toyco for the frontline banner and Fiona Ciappara of H2o who sponsored bottled water for us and our dogs. Michael Robert Jackson provided a PA system while Clayton Azzopardi of Heavenly Kiosk in Ta’Xbiex provided the electricity supply and microphone. Medistar Healthcare for provided animal and human ambulances and special thanks to Matthew Wismayer from Prince for the printing of 500 fliers.
Thanks also goes to Janice Darmanin from the TV programme Chit Chat who invited Fleur to speak about the issue. Last but not least, thanks to Island Sanctuary, Association for Abandoned Animals, Funny farm and Sea Shepherd Supporters Malta and Max Farrugia of IAR – International Animal Rescue Malta..
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Many thanks to the author of this article Josanne Cassar for allowing me to share it with you all.
Original article can be found at – http://josannecassar.com/volunteers/lets-end-animal-cruelty/
ANIMAL CRUELTY: GONE TOO FAR?
The past year has been quite eventful in terms of local animal cruelty that Malta even featured in a number of international headlines as regards hunting and heartless atrocities.
Words by Roslyn Schembri
There was Gaia who was found in a skip, the animal circus and more recently the puppy crucifixions and the illegal animal slaughter house in Mosta.
People were shocked at these horrific events and went to the streets and protested.
October 8th marked the ‘World Events to End Animal Cruelty’ and a candlelit vigil was organised by President of WEAAC Malta Fleur Marie Cilia Buckett, where people marched peacefully from Msida to Valletta.
Dawn Groth and Uwe Siwek founded WEEAC Malta in February 2011. Fleur was in charge of campaigning, fundraising, organising protests and sending out petitions to raise awareness against animal cruelty.
In fact Fleur, with the help of many friends, organised a protest for Star on June 5th 2011. After this protest she was appointed by the founders of WEEAC as the group’s Ambassador in Malta.
After Fleur then successfully organised the 8th October vigil, which was WEEAC’s first event to take place locally, she was promoted to President of the group exactly a day after.
Fleur says, “It was a really amazing afternoon with kind faces everywhere and lovely dogs and their yelps!! The candle light vigil was a beautiful moment for all of us, shame that the weather kept many home on the day.”
Fleur founded WEEAC Malta in February last year, and ever since she has been campaigning, organising protests and sending out petitions to raise awareness against animal cruelty.
“The problem in Malta is that when it comes to animal related topics, such as micro chipping and neutering, there is not enough awareness and marketing going on,” says Fleur.
It’s true that people should be more concerned and aware of the brutal treatment on the voiceless animals, but to what extent shall animal activists go?
PETA – a global animal rights organisation – does loads of campaigning and is renowned for its ‘out of the box’ adverts which usually featuring celebrities posing in the nude or dressing in raunchy outfits.
They might not be doing any harm through these images or messages like ‘Feeding Kids Meat is Child Abuse’ or ‘Want my Body Go Vegetarian’. But PETA might have gone a step too far this time.
The most recent controversy surrounding this organisation is their latest shocking vegan campaign which has landed them in trouble with women’s rights activists.
The latest video is disturbing because it can give out the message that sexual violence is ok.
The advert features a girl who is suffering from a fictional syndrome called WVAKTBOOM, or, ‘Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me… a painful condition that occurs when boyfriends go Vegan and can suddenly bring it like a tantric porn star.’
As a reaction to this advert Fleur says, “PETA are quite radical when it comes to campaigning. In fact their campaigns are quite extreme especially when it comes to vivisection.
“It’s disgusting really to see such an advert because at the end of the day if you’re in favour of animal rights you don’t have to send out messages of abuse and hurt others. Also as an animal lover you don’t necessarily have to go vegan.
“We’ve been given carnivorous teeth for a reason.”
Do protests have to be violent to make an impact?
To what extent does one have to go to convey a message?