Wild-Animal Circuses: A Partial Ban Isn’t Good Enough
In April, we were celebrating. After a public consultation and messages from thousands of compassionate people, the government announced that it would ban the use of all wild animals in circuses in England by 2015. It promised to end the abuse of zebras, camels, raccoons, reindeer, snakes and other animals in circuses around the country. “This legislation will end the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in this country. It will also help ensure that our international reputation as a leading protector of animals continues into a new global era”, a minister from Defra said.
But now, a select committee report has recommended that the ban should apply only to big cats and elephants – providing no reprieve for the majority of wild animals who are imprisoned, beaten and forced to perform in travelling circuses in England.
The EFRA Select Committee wrongly suggests that public concern is limited to certain species, such elephants and tigers – a claim based on little more than ill-informed conjecture. The 2009-2010 consultation on the use of wild animals in circuses asked: “Do you think that there are any species of wild animal which it is acceptable to use in circuses?” Of respondents, 95.5 per cent answered “No”.
Animals used in circuses usually spend most of their lives in tiny cages, in transit from one location to another. They are forced to perform acts that are totally unnatural to them – often by being repeatedly beaten and punished behind-the-scenes. For wild animals, a life of constant confinement is no life at all. And this abuse all happens in the name of “entertainment”.
Please take urgent action for these animals today by writing to Defra minister Lord de Mauley today to let him know that the British public cares about the suffering of all wild animals in circuses – and want it stopped as soon as possible.