Animal Circuses - A Life of Suffering

Abused, broken and living in fear - life in the circus is a life of cruelty for animals. We have campaigned for decades to end animal circuses in the UK and Ireland. With your support, we will make animal circus acts history.

Animals are forced to perform unnatural tricks, transported around the country and kept in cramped, temporary accommodation. Animals suffer in the name of entertainment.

Cruel Training Methods

Bullhooks, whips and sticks are all tools of the trade that have been used to train animals. These painful methods cause animals to suffer and break their spirit. Powerful animals like tigers are scared of the ringmaster with a whip. Sometimes the trainer may try to hide their tool such as a bullhook from the watching crowd. But there is no denying it. Sadly pain and submission are all part of the show. 

Unnatural Tricks

Tigers are forced to jump through hoops and elephants must stand on their heads. Domesticated animals such as horses are forced to carry numerous people on their backs and rear up on their hind legs. Animals do not choose to perform these tricks - they perform them from fear.    

Travel and Temporary Accommodation

Circuses often travel, meaning that animals are kept in temporary housing which cannot meet their most basic welfare needs. Reduced to pacing back and forth on the back of a lorry, lions and tigers are denied freedom. Elephants who would roam for miles in the wild spend their nights chained by their legs. Horses and zebra live in makeshift stalls in tents. Animals trapped in these enclosures in circuses have been seen pacing, rocking, swaying - these stressed behaviours are often seen in animals in captivity.

Exposing Cruelty

As if this suffering isn’t bad enough, our investigations into circuses have exposed mistreatment of animals behind the scenes. Investigations have exposed an elephant stabbed with a pitchford, kicked and beaten, horses slapped and a camel even spat at - it’s hard to believe this cruelty still goes on.

What is Freedom for Animals Doing? -

We support protests at circuses spreading the word about cruel animal circuses

We educate the public about animal circuses by speaking up for animals in the media, online and in person

We lobby Government and councils to ban animal circuses

We investigate and expose animal circuses ensuring we have evidence to speak up for animals

We know you want to see an end to this cruelty. Join us in creating freedom for animals. Together we have achieved so much for animals suffering in circuses but we won’t stop until all animals are free from the Big Top.

Take action against circuses today - be part of the change.