BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ
Martin Lacey Jr – the circus supremo and big cat trainer – flew over especially from Germany last week to the UK to attend the public oral evidence session of the bill to ban wild animals in circus. He was armed with his own personally-funded empirical scientific data showing there were not any unusual stress levels in his big cats, before during and travelling with the circus.
Martin’s data is corroborated by the world’s leading expert. Prof Ted Friend, who carried out similar studies for the USDA and found there to be no concerns. Prof Ted Friend admits he believed the animal rights dogma at first until his research gave him a true picture of what really happens in well-run circuses.
Unbelievably, to combat Martin’s research one MP quoted Prof Stephen Harris’s review for the Welsh Government. Less than a day later Harris was once again publicly humiliated in court when he tried to pass himself off as an ‘independent’ witness.
Sadly the politicians were not interested in Martin’s research and spent the evidence session accusing the circus representation of being responsible for their own demise through bad practices. The bad practices they told them had been seen by the public and it was this that caused a change of opinion and attitude against the circus and their use of wild and exotic animals.
There is one very big problem with that scenario – the bad practices they were talking about had been false and were the consequence of set-ups by animal rights groups. These groups went in under cover and couldn’t find anything wrong, so they set up the bad practices and then filmed them to suit their narrative. Worst of all, the politicians grilling Martin knew this but chose to carry on playing their sick little game.
For the record, below is the evidence they received showing exactly what happened, and worse still, the politicians’ advisers from DEFRA have known about it for 6 months. The only person that didn’t know was Martin Lacey as he works out of Germany.
Dear Public Bills Committee:
Our names are Nigel Bean & Paul Read, our area of expertise surrounds animal rights groups and charities and their use of dishonest practises to garner donations from the public. Every charity or animal welfare group needs a cause and the evidence suggests those that don’t have a legitimate claim to a cause simply invent problems themselves and then campaign against the problem of their own making. It has been more than 40 years since these groups started holding strategy sessions regarding using the public’s biases to create successful campaigns. Successful, of course, meaning revenue generating. The attack on the circuses provides us with a perfect example and has been a good revenue stream for over 25 years for groups such as Animal Defenders International (ADI).
These groups use highly edited videos and photos to generate falsehoods that are eagerly proliferated by the press looking for sensationalist stories. In the case of the circuses this led to the complete annihilation of this perfectly legitimate industry. Add to that the intimidation and abuse that at the extreme end saw a letter bomb and a jar of jam containing arsenic being sent to those working in that industry. One would have hoped our parliamentarians would vociferously work to protect those businesses and individuals targeted by the cheats and charlatans. However, as we see from the letter sent by Anne Chipperfield to Angela Smith (Lab) in the late nineties, some of our parliamentarians would much rather work with the activists and cheats, helping to spread their falsehoods rather than seek out the truth.
Although we are pleased to be given this opportunity to provide our information in support of preventing a ban on wild animals in circuses we remain highly suspicious for the following reason –
Recent requests for evidence in the UK relating to similar animal rights/government related actions have resulted in an abject failure to follow the evidence. In Wales we have the utter farce of shooting being stopped on land owned by the NRW and in Scotland we have the Scottish Government ignoring its own inquiry findings to reduce the number in a pack of hounds to just two. In both instances the evidence they required did not support their original intentions and animal rights agenda, thus requiring them to shift to using consultation responses (public opinion surveys). They did not rely on the quality of the responses but just the number. It’s perfectly within reason to suggest that a hundred fanatics making multiple submissions to consultations by clicking or pasting are having a major influence on our countryside and how we look after our animals.
An example of an animal rights group helping to negatively impact consultation can be viewed in the below link. PETA provided the answers for the Scottish consultation because they want to skew the answers towards a ban on emotional grounds because the science based argument was won by the pro circus camp. The Scottish Government banned wild animals in circuses based on mob rule, not rational thought.
Welfare of wild animals in circuses.
It’s widely accepted the welfare of wild animals in circuses argument was won years ago by the pro circus camp. All three academics to have carried out empirical studies on circus animals have consistently stated their welfare is as good as any other animals kept in human care. This is why animal rights group ask their supporters to fill in consultations highlighting concerns based on emotions and ignorance of the facts, and calling it “ethics”. Two of the three academics last year visited the Italian senate to explain exactly what has gone on.
The argument put forward by the opponents of circuses is the ‘complex needs’ of semi domesticated exotic animals born in captivity cannot be met. However, consideration needs to be given to the fact that the majority of circus species in the wild travel long distances, because of their need to forage. On a recent field trip to Zimbabwe Professor Ted Friend observed that free-ranging elephants had 10,000 acres to roam, and wild elephants also came through. But the free-ranging elephants had to be herded and moved daily to keep them from overgrazing the area close to the home location, like sheep or cattle that overgraze their home range until forced to move by lack of food. The circus environment provides lots of stimulation and fits the semi-nomadic life style of elephants because of the stimulation of moving to new locations. Walking to and from trucks, training sessions, photo-ops, walks, and performances provide exercise.
Other ethical reasons given originate from videos from other countries with ‘circuses’ in the title giving the impression it is typical of what happens in the UK. I.e. A bear riding a bike in a skirt and hat, but this could not be further from the truth. Our circuses have kept abreast of modern thinking and the animals are only asked to do what they would naturally in the wild.
All of the below information has been provide to Michael Gove and DEFRA at various stages, no response back has ever been received from either.
Twisting the science
The previously mentioned ‘complex needs’, used as a sound bite by animal rights groups and posted on the UK Government website, originates from a 2009 circus synopsis funded by the RSPCA and written by Professor Stephen Harris et al. His circus synopsis references two studies for ‘complex needs’, both on zoo animals and not circus animals. The research investigates the potential for stimulation to break boredom and alleviate stress in a non-travelling static environment using plants, foliage and perches and suggests this is only partially effective in zoos. As previously stated the stimulation of walking to and from trucks and moving to a different environment etc. only circuses can provide implies the comparison to zoo animals is a misrepresentation in typical Harris fashion and is an inappropriate comparison. Harris claims his synopsis is scientific, not ethical. However it is used by animal rights groups to feed the emotions of the mob, the mob in turn now promotes the ‘ethical’ argument.
This was the second of the circus reports written for the RSPCA by Professor Stephen Harris. They, along with other animal rights groups, have bank-rolled him for decades to twist data that fits their agenda while he pretends to be impartial. Janet George got to see the League Against Cruel Sports finances one day when she was helping Jim Barrington leave the organisation.
Professor Harris was finally outed by Professor Ted Friend with a complaint going to Bristol University and a copy sent to Lesley Griffiths Welsh AM and environment minister. Professor Harris was ushered into retirement two months later, Lesley Griffiths did not disclose the letter to the Welsh assembly so they would vote to ban wild animals in circuses. Dossier on Professor Harris and his other animal rights involvement attached Harris.pdf. Full story here:
Destroying the reputation of circuses with edited videos.
During 2017 we were shown a video that caused us concern. It showed Terry Hill, a League Against Cruel Sports Hunt monitor, over-zealously accusing a fox shooter of loading a gun when in fact he was unloading the weapon to make it safe. We are fully aware professional undercover activists are always under high pressure because they have to come up with more outrageous cruelty or alleged illegal activity to keep activist groups funding them and keep the money-spinning campaigns alive. We have grave concerns over this choice of profession as it involves being very deceitful and will hurt some very good people, their animals and welfare practices.
So we made enquiries and a possible link between Terry Hill and the circuses was suggested. On further analyses we found the name Terry ‘Spike’ Stocker. We contacted Thomas Chipperfield, who repeated what we had found from our enquiries, the activist involved with the circuses was Terry ‘Spike’ Stocker. Chipperfield had by chance one photograph of Stocker from the nineties and we had an up to date photo. These were given to circus folk and a match came back. Terry ‘Spike’ Stocker is really Terry Hill. We now made public the copies of signed witness statements that had been sent to the Home Office and others, including David Cameron, when he first became an MP but ignored. These witness statements helped explain to the public how the circuses have been maligned by animal rights groups and resulted in the following three articles.
We know the circuses were maligned by ADI, and we have serious concerns over other incidents. In particular, Elephant Anne in 2013. Terry Hill helped Robert Cogswell (Convicted of carrying a firearm with intent to kill) to setup the cameras in the barn.
Once we knew what Terry Hill was up too we alerted hunts in Scotland as we knew he had been sent up there by the League Against Cruel Sports CEO Robbie Marshland to capture film of claimed illegal Hunting. It wasn’t long before Terry Hill was caught red handed trying to doctor a video claiming there are ‘no guns in the area’.
Conclusion – We have serious concerns at how easily animal rights groups are able to deceive our politicians and deprive innocent members of the public out of their livelihoods using trumped up information originating from lucrative campaigns to collect donations. We feel parliament should refocus its efforts and start protecting those unfairly targeted by animal rights groups and charities.
If you have any questions or would like information clarified please do not hesitate to contact us.