Tory MP Continues to Block Ban on Wild-Animal Circuses

Posted by on March 10, 2017 | Permalink

A private member’s bill to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in England has been delayed – again.

MPs ran out of time to discuss the bill during the session in which it was scheduled for debate, and it could only have progressed to the next stage if no one objected – which Conservative MP Christopher Chope did. Discussion of the bill, which has widespread public and political backing, has now been pushed back.

Chope and fellow Tory MPs Andrew Rosindell and Philip Davies have blocked several similar bills in the past, even though their objections fly in the face of overwhelming public support for a ban. A government-commissioned consultation found that 94.5 per cent of respondents are in favour of outlawing this cruel and archaic form of entertainment.

Animals don’t want to ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. Lions, tigers, and other wild animals used in circuses perform such tricks because they’re forced to. They spend most of their lives being carted from one performance to another in “beast wagons” or barren temporary enclosures and may be beaten or punished as part of circuses’ barbaric training methods.

Governments of countries around the world – including Bolivia, Iran, the Netherlands, and Singapore – are taking decisive action to stop the abuse of wild animals in circuses, while England shamefully lags behind. Even though more than 200 local authorities in the UK have already banned wild-animal circuses from council land and Scotland has pledged to introduce a countrywide ban later this year, Westminster continues to drag its feet.

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