RSPCA: Justice for Anne the elephant

Bobby Roberts found guilty of cruelty

A circus owner has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a performing elephant in Northamptonshire, and failing to provide for her needs.

Bobby Roberts, 69, from Oundle, of the Bobby Roberts Super Circus, was found guilty at Northampton Crown Court of mistreating 58-year-old elephant Anne. His wife Moira, 75, was acquitted.

Roberts was found guilty of two counts of unnecessary suffering and one count of failing to provide for the animals needs. He was given a conditional discharge, with no fine, and no costs were awarded.

“The RSPCA is delighted that some justice has been seen for Anne,” said Jody Gordon, a member of the RSPCA’s special operations unit, who has worked very closely on this case.

“Anyone looking at this shocking footage can see how this poor elephant suffered, and this clearly spells out how completely unacceptable this is. It is only a pity those physically beating Anne in the film footage could not be prosecuted also,” he added.

It is important to remember that Anne is not the only circus elephant who has suffered and this case highlights that wild animals such as her simply do not belong in a travelling circus environment.

We have long campaigned against wild animals in circuses – and believe the only way to guarantee stopping this kind of thing happening again in the future is a proper ban.

This has been promised by the government and we are pleased they have committed to this, but concerned they have failed to set a deadline and remain vague about the details of a full ban. It is important they make bringing in a ban a priority.

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Email: press@rspca.org.uk  Website: www.rspca.org.uk

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