Jamie Cullum accused of condoning animal cruelty over performance at wild animal circus

'No animals featured and he does not condone the use of live animals as a form of entertainment' says his spokesman

Jazz star Jamie Cullum has been accused of "condoning cruelty" after appearing at the home of Europe's largest wild animal circus.

The pianist played a sold-out performance to 3,000 fans at the controversial Circus Krone in Munich in Germany last month which features dancing elephants and performing big cats.

Animal rights groups condemned the decision to play at the venue, which has hosted a number of the world's leading rock acts including the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Pink.

Circus Krone is home to 200 animals including lions, tigers, zebras, elephants, a rhino and sea lions.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of Animal Defenders International (ADI), said appearing there sent the wrong message.

"The welfare needs of tigers, lions and other wild animals can never be met in circuses where these majestic animals are confined. We are very concerned that celebrities including Jamie Cullum are apparently condoning such cruelty by performing at animal circus venues," she said.

A ban on wild animals appearing in in travelling circuses is set to come into force in Britain in 2015 following a Commons vote by MPs and a campaign by The Independent in which 30,000 people signed a petition demanding an end to the practice.

A spokesman for Jamie Cullum confirmed he had played at Circus Krone. 

He said: "He was not aware that the venue was used for live animal performances during the summer months. I can confirm that no animals featured in his performance and that he does not condone the use of live animals as a form of entertainment."

Cullum broadcast his BBC Radio 2 programme from the venue last week during which he told listeners: "I'm actually playing a in a circus tonight. When I say a circus I mean an actual circus so when I look out my window I can see lions and tigers ... Tonight I'm literally in a circus and it's a beautiful venue and looking forward to playing here tonight," he said.

Peter Höffken, campaign director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) in Germany, said the organisation had been engaged in a long running campaign to highlight its alleged concerns over Circus Krone.

"We would wish that the celebrities or agents would inform themselves before they book this venue," he said. "We hope that at some point Circus Krone will stop exhibiting animals and just concentrate on renting out its premises for singers," he added.

Markus Strobl, marketing director Circus Krone, said the animals were well treated by more than 100 staff including two vets.

"We have higher welfare standards than in a zoo. In our opinion it is good because we protect some species from dying out," he said.

Founded in 1919, Krone is the only circus in Europe to have its own permanent home. After its winter residency in Munich it goes on tour taking with it the world's largest big top as well as a 100-strong menagerie.

Among the stars is lion trainer Martin Lacey Jr from a well-known British circus family. According to the Circus Krone website: "The highly decorated tamer presents its 14 African lions wanted `wild' (sic) and presents their immense power and skill. With a loud crack of a whip, he emphasizes the danger of his `majesty' and letting it hiss highly effective and threaten."

Mr Lacey's personal website shows video of him leading a tiger as it repeatedly jumps over a lion's back and a photograph of him placing his head inside the mouth of a large male.

Mr Strobl said the circus was proud of its conservation record. For example, he said there were 82 white lions left in the world - 14 at Krone, 11 of which had been bred there. 

"There are good circuses and there were not good circuses in the past. Circus Krone is the biggest in Europe and has the highest standard of animal treatment," he added. 

The use of animals in circuses has been outlawed in a number of countries in Europe, Scandinavia and the Americas. In Austria a challenge by Circus Krone was rejected by the courts paving the way for the British Government to support the ban on travelling circuses. Krone has the backing of the German Federal government which markets it as an international tourist attraction.

Last year, in the case of an unconnected circus, its owner Bobby Roberts was convicted in a British court of behaving cruelly towards Anne, the UK's last circus elephant which was revealed to have been kept constantly chained. An undercover film shot by ADI showed the Asian elephant being kicked and hit with a pitchfork. Concern over the incident was one of the decisive factors in securing the ban in the Commons vote in 2011. There is no suggestion of any similar cruelty at Circus Krone.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West found himself at the centre of a critical storm over the weekend after he apparently claimed to be “the next Mandela” during a radio interview
music
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig and Rory Kinnear film Spectre in London
film
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
News
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
people
News
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?