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To take DD to a Circus with animals?

(28 Posts)
muggglewump Wed 24-Jun-09 16:09:44

this is the Circus.

We went 4 years ago, and though it's not my thing (I'm scared of clowns), DD loved it and I know she'd love to go again.
I don't have a lot of money, so trips out are thin on the ground and this is coming to the next village and will cost £12 for the two of us.
I live in a small town so not many attractions easy to get to near us, I also don't drive.

I can't find anything else that compares pricewise, the next nearest thing is the Sealife Centre at Loch Lomond but that's dearer and if I'm honest, I'd like to take her there too instead of if I can manage it.

Is taking DD a really awful thing to do?

frankbestfriend Wed 24-Jun-09 16:14:25


The fact that it is convenient and cheap does not excuse the exploitation of animals. I hope the circus is on private land, as it is against the law for any circus with animals to perform on public property.

melmog Wed 24-Jun-09 16:17:40

Imho, as long as they only have horses, I don't see much of a problem.

Personally I hate circuses, always have done, I had a horrible experience at one when I was little.

I may be wrong, but I don't imagine a circus pony's life is any worse than those in most riding schools.

Perfectgangofthree Wed 24-Jun-09 16:23:01

Circuses with animals are cruel. Don't give them your money.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 16:24:31

Can't see a problem with horses and dogs - anyone who does would also I suppose,have to have a problem with sheep dog trials and show jumping.

If the letter about the elephant is true, then it looks as if there isn't anything elsoe they could do with her,and she's a hangover from a previous age.

muggglewump Wed 24-Jun-09 16:33:08

It is on private land.
They do have an elephant which I know is what causes the big controversy, but it is an old elephant and when we were there 4 years ago all she did was be walked into the ring at the interval and you could have a photo taken with her.

Other than that they just have ponies and horses.

I'm not hugely comfortable with it myself, but I would like DD to have this treat.
I'd like to take her to the Zoo (Edinburgh) too, where we have been before and the highlight of that trip for her is the bit where she gets to hold the animals. Is that much different?

I don't know, which is why I'm asking!

Circus with animals, says to me bad, yet zoo doesn't, and I don't know if I'm right or wrong, and if it's OK to do this, or OK under the circumstances (me being skint and DD having a treat), or really, really wrong.

DesperateHousewifeToo Wed 24-Jun-09 16:49:32

Go and enjoy it together.

I agree that dogs and horses in a circus are not much different from woking dogs or riding stables.

Have fun.

frankbestfriend Wed 24-Jun-09 16:55:06

Do you know with certainty that the conditions in which the elephant is kept are suitable?
IMO that is the problem with travelling circuses, not the fact that the animals are made to perform.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 16:57:20

There is a letter quoting RSPCA reports on the website.

muggglewump Wed 24-Jun-09 18:05:24

From what I've read the animals do seem to be treated well and are happy being there. I don't know enough about animals to know if this is true.

I saw an interview a while back now with someone from the Circus with regards to Anne (the elephant), and they said she'd been there years and it would be cruel to move her now.
I don't know if that really would be the case, though it makes sense.

I guess I will go, and I still won't like it (Clowns FFSangry!), but DD will love it.

2shoes Wed 24-Jun-09 18:06:43


Thunderduck Wed 24-Jun-09 18:30:16

YABU.They have an elephant. They have little to no quality of life in a circus.

lljkk Wed 24-Jun-09 18:34:06

I would take her OP.

Why is the fate of one elephant more important than the tens of thousands of beef cows kept in small pens, never eating fresh grass just so that their meat will have lots of white fat, or the male calves shot hours after birth while we drink all their mother's milk, or the way animals are cared for in the pet trade (plenty looked after well, but plenty not while still complying with relevant law)??

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 24-Jun-09 18:36:26

They've had the elephant for over 50 years, since she was a baby, and elephants live in family groups. What do you anti-circus people think they should do with her?

(NB, I'm not keen on wild animals in circuses either, but would make an exception for this one.)

Thunderduck Wed 24-Jun-09 18:38:13

Send her to a good zoo perhaps.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 24-Jun-09 18:42:57

Elephants can go mad in zoos. They are herd animals, they need the company of familiar companions. It would be cruel imho for the circus family to get rid of her.

screamingabdab Wed 24-Jun-09 18:51:06

I went to this circus last year (I didn't know anything about the elephant beforehand, but there were protesters outside, which you would need to be prepared for)

Honestly, it is not very good, quite apart from the elephant issue. It would be a better circus without any of the animals, as the acrobats are the only good thing in it.

Don't waste your money

Thunderduck Wed 24-Jun-09 18:53:11

They at least have relatively spacious enclosures in a zoo, and the company of their own kind.

Elephants usually go mad in circuses and not in zoos. And who can blame them?

screamingabdab Wed 24-Jun-09 18:54:25

Sorry, just noticed you had been and enjoyed it before blush

It seemed a bit run-down and pathetic to me. DS and friend weren't that bothered (age 5), and were upset by the animal rights protesters too.

DisturbinglySexuallyInactive Wed 24-Jun-09 18:58:31

you cannot really compare zoos with animal circuses

the latter is exploitative entertainment, good zoos do so much important work for conservation, education etc as well as being fun

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 24-Jun-09 19:04:22

But this elephant has been with this family for over 50 years. How could it be kind to move this old lady into a place she doesn't know, with people (and, presumably, elephants) she doesn't know? Would another herd of elephants even accept her? Would she end up in an enclosure all on her own?

Or being put down?

muggglewump Wed 24-Jun-09 19:50:58

DD enjoyed it, I don't like clowns!
I didn't think it great, but I had nothing to compare it to, and neither had DD, she still doesn't. I know there are great circuses, such as Cirque De Soleil, they were at the SECC recently, but not for £6 a ticket they weren't!
This is about giving DD a treat, not me.

I hope there are no protesters if we go, there wasn't last time but that was 4 years ago. It's a small village we'll be going to, so perhaps they won't come there?

I really know nothing about animals in Circuses, which is why I asked but I am inclined to think it would be wrong to expect the family/Circus, to get rid of the elephant after all these years. Surely it will know the life and owners as normal now?

It is a very old elephant, and it doesn't perform at all from what I saw 4 years ago, just stands in the ring during the interval.

I know I seem to be justifying it, but I want DD to have this treat and I want to know it's OK so I don't feel horribly guilty.

Thunderduck Wed 24-Jun-09 19:58:39

Well personally I don't think it's ok, and I wouldn't care to give my money to them. I can understand you wanting to give your dd a treat, and while I don't think it's the worst thing you could do, I don't think it's right.

The elephant would be better off in a zoo where it can be an elephant and live as an elephant able to carry out at least some of it's natural behaviours and tendencies.

I'd find some other form of treat if possible.

DisturbinglySexuallyInactive Wed 24-Jun-09 20:42:18

go to the zoo! or have a middle-of-night safari in your own garden - hedgehogs, moths, slugs all active at night

muggglewump Thu 25-Jun-09 11:25:26

Slugs? shock
I think not!

We will go to the Zoo if I can find the money but it is very expensive particularly as I don't live in Edinburgh.
I've made my mind up that we will go to the Circus too.

I'm not entirely convinced about it being OK, but DD will love it.

Saying that, if I get a job within the next couple of weeks we won't go, but then I'll be able to afford other things instead.

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