No End in Sight for Wild Animals in British Circuses

Posted by on March 2, 2012 | Permalink

Many of you will have seen the headlines reporting an end to the use and abuse of wild animals in British circuses. There is nothing PETA would love more (well, except an end to the use of all animals in circuses), but sadly, all is not what it seems. In the face of overwhelming public and parliamentary support for a ban, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that it will press ahead with its circus inspection and licensing scheme and also have another public consultation on the issue. At this rate, it could be years – most certainly after the next general election – before primary legislation is considered, let alone passed. Conservative MP Mark Pritchard, who has been leading the campaign to end the use of wild animals in circuses, was quoted as saying of a ban, “I will not believe it until I see it. I suspect the Government will try and extend the licensing regime which will give a green light to a new generation of wild animals in [similar] circumstances”.

Chantelle Houghton outside Parliament

Please, even if you have already done so before, e-mail Prime Minister David Cameron today to say that enough is enough. Wild animals will continue to suffer in British circuses because of the government’s and Defra’s inaction. A licensing scheme will not prevent the sickening abuse of wild animals which takes place routinely in circuses. Yet another consultation is a complete waste of time and taxpayer money when the previous consultation showed that 94 per cent of those who responded wanted an end to this cruelty. Nothing short of an immediate ban will suffice.