Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Captive Animals Protection Society vs Bobby Roberts Circus

Protesters: Captive Animals Protection Society and local campaigners
Target: Bobby Roberts Super Circus
Location: Knutsford, Cheshire
Date: 30 March

The lowdown

A demonstration was held outside a circus after one of its workers was filmed beating an elephant with a pitchfork. About 100 animal rights campaigners gathered on The Heath in Knutsford, Cheshire, on the second night of the Bobby Roberts Super Circus show, holding placards that read 'Stop circus suffering' and 'Your fun is their misery'. The day before, a sign promoting the circus appeared with a 'cancelled' banner across it, which was presumed to have been placed there by campaigners.

Why the protests?

While a joint investigation is being carried out by Northamptonshire Police and the RSPCA into the treatment of the elephant, the protesters are using the story to call for a ban on the use of all animals in circus acts.

How did the circus respond?

The Roberts family said the video showing the elephant being hit by one of its workers was 'not acceptable'. On its website, a statement said: 'The family shares the outrage at what appears to have taken place in its absence.'

Media treatment

The story was covered in the Daily Mail and The Sun, and local newspapers including the Leigh Journal and Harborough Mail, as well as by BBC News.

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