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CHIPPERFIELD IS ARRESTED OVER CAMEL CRUELTY VIDEO; Circus chief quizzed.

CIRCUS trainer Mary Chipperfield was arrested yesterday over allegations of animal cruelty first exposed by The Mirror.

She was quizzed by cops investigating a catalogue of abuse revealed in a harrowing video.

Secretly filmed by the charity Animal Defenders, it showed Miss Chipperfield, 60, apparently rib-kicking and whipping a camel with a leather belt after it refused to move.

She was then heard shouting: "Get up, get up, you bloody stupid animal."

In another scene, she allegedly pushed and kicked a screaming baby chimp into a tiny carrying box. As the youngster cried out, she shouted: "Yes, you can bloody cry. Get in! I'm not in the mood."

Yesterday, the world-famous circus trainer looked happy and relaxed as she arrived with her solicitor at a police station near her farm in Over Wallop, Hants.

Wearing a pale blue jacket, red jumper and jeans, she waved to waiting newsmen.

She was questioned under caution over a series of animal cruelty charges.

Following The Mirror's revelation of the Animal Defenders' video, Miss Chipperfield denied any cruelty.

She explained her attack on the camel, saying: "I'm not beating it. I'm encouraging it with a stick to get up and go forward."

Other sickening scenes showed trainer Stephen Gills, 64, lashing out at a terrified elephant with a metal bar.

A convicted killer, who served 11 years for the manslaughter of a woman student, he struck the animal so hard, it bent the 4ft-long bar.

He was later fired and also faces a police investigation.

Miss Chipperfield was released last night after almost four hours of questioning.

She left by a back door at the police station and was met by friends.

It is understood she is on police bail pending further inquiries.

A Hampshire police spokesman confirmed that a 60-year-old woman had been arrested.
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Author:Armstrong, Jeremy
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 5, 1998
Words:301
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