People are outraged after a camel showed up at Land Beyond Festival
Witnesses claim the camel looked ‘distressed’
People are criticising Land Beyond Festival for their use of a camel yesterday.
Pictures posted to local Facebook groups show the animal dressed in bright red, being paraded through the grounds before organisers led it to a pen near the fairground rides.
A video of the animal was also shared on Twitter, in which festival attendees can be heard complaining that the festival was an inappropriate venue for the camel. The RSPCA replied to the tweet, asking the user to report the incident over the phone. Both Land Beyond and the company who provided the camel maintain the animal was well looked after.
Please report this to us by calling 0300 1234 999.
— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) June 9, 2019
Despite being marketed as a two-day festival, Land Beyond kicked off on Sunday, after the Saturday event was cancelled due to high winds. Sunday's event was headlined by Dizzee Rascal.
Pictures and videos of the camel began to circulate yesterday – on Twitter and on local facebook groups. One post in Vegan Brighton has over 200 negative reacts, and 100 comments.
One commenter said: "I can't imagine how the poor thing is feeling. Why bring a camel? That is so fucking stupid."
Another told The Sussex Tab: "It saddens me that in a town as progressive and eco-friendly as ours, people would find it acceptable to subject a sentient being to such stressful conditions."
Another festival-goer said: "Do they really think that today’s youth want to see an animal in clear distress?"
An attendee told us that the animal was "clearly frightened as any animal would be in that environment."
Another comment on the Vegan Brighton group read: "That makes me so upset and sick. Its dressed up as well. I can’t imagine how the poor thing is feeling. Not the right environment or weather either – why bring a camel? That is so fucking stupid."
One person who had been working the event said: "I was working on the bar at the festival and was shocked when I saw it! Couldn't believe my eyes."
A spokesperson for Land Beyond told The Sussex Tab the company responsible for the camel are "renowned for their outstanding care," and said the camel's welfare "was always a priority."
They said: "We had several discussions with the camel supplier who assured us that they wouldn’t supply a camel for an event like ours if it caused any distress to the animal.
"The animal has a performance license and has been seen in films such as Aladdin and a number of other productions. Land Beyond is a boutique festival and one of our goals is to strive to bring unusual experiences from Lands Beyond to our events.
"It was never our attention to offend anyone and we would like to thank everybody for their feedback."
A spokesperson for Joseph's Amazing Camels told The Sussex Tab the camel had previously been featured in films, stage productions, parades, and adverts, maintaining "at no point was the camel in any way upset or harmed."
They added: "Our camels have a 15-acre field to live in during the day and then they come into their stables at night. They graze on grass during the day with access to fresh water and at night they have hay and a feed to eat.
"They are washed and groomed regularly and have just had a check up with the vet who wormed them and gave vitamin boosters. They are much loved pets who also work.
"Camels have been domesticated for longer than horses and have worked in tandem with man in many aspects. They are very special animals who deserve much respect for their intelligence and lovely natures.
"We are privileged to have them and be able to share them with so many people who thoroughly enjoy meeting them.
"He was put in a pen to protect him from the more enthusiastic festival goers who wanted to hug him. We understand that! We love hugging our camels.
The RSPCA have been approached for comment.