Circus Elephant Killed After Truck Overturns On Motorway

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An elephant was killed and others were injured when a circus truck overturned on a motorway.

Heartbreaking photos of the aftermath of a crash which forced the closure of a motorway in south-eastern Spain, have been posted online.

Injured elephants escaped from the truck they were travelling in and local police said one of the elephants died from its injuries and two others were hurt.

The injured animals then had to be lifted from the carriageway using a crane after the truck overturned on Monday afternoon (April 2) in Pozo Cañada near Albacete.

The driver of the truck involved in the crash was not injured, writes BBC News.

Gregorio Serrano, who is the director of the government department responsible for Spain’s road transport network, posted a video of one of the elephants being lifted from the motorway.

Mr Serrano wrote on his Twitter account the cause of the crash is ‘still under investigation’ by the local authorities.

The Pozo Cañada council also posted a video of the four surviving elephants in a compound on Sunday evening.

It said they were being looked after by the local authority until they can be transferred elsewhere.

Other reports are suggesting the five female elephants could have ‘destabilised the truck’, writes AP News.

This has lead to debate on whether animals should be banned from circus use – yes, they should – something which has been the topic of conversation for many years now.

Earlier this year, the British government finally announced circus animals will be banned from performances.

After a public consultation in which 94.5 per cent of the public said they would support such a ban, Westminster has finally followed in the footsteps of Scotland, where circus animals were banned last year.

It’s a move which is hoped to combat the widespread maltreatment of circus animals, from unsanitary conditions to forced labour through punishment, starvation and incarceration.

The remaining 19 animals currently entertaining crowds include six reindeer, four zebras, three camels, three raccoons, a zebu cattle, a macaw and a fox.

More than half of the UK local authorities have already refused to allow circuses which use animals to perform in their boroughs.

And, more than 40 different countries around the world, including most of Europe, Latin America and several Asian countries, have outlawed the practice.

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Finally, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have followed suit (DEFRA).

The Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012 now reads:

The Government intends to ensure a legislative ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses is in place by the time the Regulations expire in January 2020. The current regulations expire on 19 January 2020.

The Government does not intend to renew the regulations as it intends to ensure that a legislative ban is introduced by then. The regulations will then be allowed to expire.

Historically, wild animals were captured and cruelly tamed for circuses throughout the 20th century, from P. T. Barnum’s so-called Greatest Show on Earth to the Ringling Brothers’ performances.

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Ringling Bros. gave its final performance – including a 12 minute tiger act – back in May 2017, and while their head trainer credited the circus with raising and caring for eleven generations of big cat, others were happy to see the practice end.

A recent film, The Greatest Showman, has also been criticised for glossing over the cruelty of the circus.

Leave animals be!

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