After a long discussion with ADI this morning, who laughed at Zippos childish attempts to discredit them, we went armed with even more knowledge on this circus than we have ever had.
A quick internet search by SARC yesterday evening found the most horrifying story ever. Anyone over the age of about 20 will no doubt remember that in 1998 Chipperfield's Circus was shut down after images and videos of elephants being beaten 30 times in the face with a metal pole and a chimpanzee named Trudy being kicked across a concrete floor came to light. SARC discovered that in the defence of Chipperfield's, David Hibling, the then Artistic Director for Zippos Circus, spoke out.
When asked did he see anything he thought was cruel he replied:
When asked would he do what people in the video did, he replied:
Luckily the jury disagreed with this vile man, but anyone who sees no harm in this blatant animal abuse is really very sick.
Today SARC took this story to Zippos with duel megaphones, thousands of leaflets and plenty of placards and to say the Ringmaster's face was as red as his tails coat was an understatement.
Zippos was incredibly quiet today with very few people willing to indulge in pleasure from acts of animal cruelty, but the few people who did go in listened intently to our chants and our speeches and almost all of them took leaflets and considered their actions hard. Quite understandably the majority of people promise circus visits to their children and to disappoint them would be hard, but plenty of people are opting for the less cruel Southsea attractions now and many are vowing this will be their last ever visit to an animal based circus.
SARC are determined to push Zippos a long way out of Portsmouth and have already started working with Groups in Horsham and London where the circus visits next. We will continue campaigning until all animals in the South are free from suffering.