Dori Edwards, Global Animal

While many have heard of Animal Defenders International (ADI), many are unaware of exactly how much the organization has accomplished over the years.

ADI founder Jan Creamer first became involved in animal activism when she received a flier to volunteer with an Anti-Vivisection group. After becoming involved in the campaign against the use of animals in experimentation, she decided to dedicate her life to animal welfare. 

She and her partner Tim Phillips, also involved in Anti-Vivisection, met during their efforts and together established the international campaigning group, ADI, which incorporates undercover evidence to inform the public of animal exploitation and encourage change.

The ADI team uncovered and documented the inhumane treatment of experiment animals around the world. According to the pair, the animals are contained in living situations “very similar to factory farm conditions.”

The use of exotic animals in circuses is a cruel practice. Help Animal Defenders International end the inhumanity. Photo credit: Kerri9494 via flickr
The use of exotic animals in circuses is a cruel practice. Help Animal Defenders International end the inhumanity. Photo credit: Kerri9494 via flickr

During an undercover investigation of a monkey trapping expedition, ADI investigators witnessed a group of poachers throw nets over trees, harmfully man handle the apes and then ship the animals to laboratories where they were to be tested on. 

Through their campaign to end this inhumanity, Creamer and Phillips secured a prohibition in Europe in all 26 countries. The ban on animal experimenting ” is saving 30,000 animals every year in Europe.” As the pair stated, the widespread ban “shows you do not need to test on animals.”

ADI’s current project is abolishing the use of exotic animals in entertainment. They have recently worked on projects in the United Kingdom, Bolivia, United States and are hoping to encourage the worldwide ban of this animal degradation.

During March of 2012, an undercover reporter for ADI recorded and exposed the abuse of Anne the Elephant in a United Kingdom circus. Since the discovery, Bobby Roberts, owner of the Bobby Roberts Super Circus where Anne was performing, has become the first ever circus owner to be convicted of animal cruelty. 

In the U.S., ADI is working with Bob Barker to implement the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, which will disallow the use of animals in circuses, as well as the ban on animal rentals for events and rides. “The point we are making is that if they hire these elephants, they are buying into cruelty,” said Creamer.

She says that for these purposes, animals must be made compliant and this is done through abuse. “If the public pays to ride on these elephants, that is what they are paying for.” Their campaigns influenced the Upland Lemon Festival to ban elephant rides and southern California’s Orange and Santa Maria Counties are following suit. 

ADI has proposed bills in Los Angeles that give voters the option of whether to petition for a ban on circus elephants, use of bull hooks, or both. Creamer and Phillips shared that the campaign has received enthusiastic support and thousands have signed the petition. The co-founders believe, “What LA does, we feel the others will follow.”

The team is in the midst of producing a documentary, Lion Ark, that follows their involvement in Bolivian circuses. ADI influenced the national ban on animal use in circuses, but when it was  discovered that companies were defying the newly established laws, ADI tracked them down and rescued 25 lions which were airlifted to a sanctuary in Colorado. 

“We have a lot of rescued animals,” stated Creamer. 30 lions as well as monkeys, apes and horses have found refuge on their land in Colorado. Animal lovers can adopt an ADI rescued animal by visiting and clicking “adopt an animal.” 

“We believe we are an empowering group. We pull together the evidence that enables people to change things,” said the ADI founders. ADI encourages activists to make a difference. “If there’s anything they can do, get involved,” they said. 

Animal Defenders International is an amazing organization that is changing the world for the animals and they encourage everyone to take part. “We would really love people to call our office and get on the website,” they expressed, “if you want to help animals, just get in touch.”