Wild Animals in Circuses – Part Two

Back in June 2010, I published a blog about banning wild animals in UK circuses.  At that time, I wrote, “I understand the Liberal Democrats had said they would ban wild animals in circuses, however, the Conservatives indicated they would not support a ban.”

Well, on 6th May, the Independent published an article No 10 blocks plan to ban wild animals performing in circuses which included the statement that “Ministers are expected to announce a system of self-regulation by circuses within days.”

Tiger Jumping Through a Hoop

On 8th May, the Independent published a follow up article with this introduction:

“Internet users have given strong backing to The Independent’s campaign calling for a ban on wild animals performing in circuses.

“More than 6,000 people had signed our petition urging the Government to announce a ban, while hundreds have posted messages of support on our website, Facebook page and on Twitter.”

The RSPCA, BVA, Born Free Foundation and the Captive Animals’ Protection endorse the Independent’s campaign to ban wild animals in circuses – please add your name to the petition.

This ADI page contains one example of why self-regulation will not work – unfortunately, there are many reasons why wild animals are not suited for a circus life and some are mentioned in the Independent articles.

As stated in our animal rights policy, we would prohibit the use of animals in circuses:

“AR415 In view of the fact that animal acts in circuses are cruel and degrading to performer and observer alike, we will immediately prohibit the import of, and sale from other sources of, all animals to circuses. We will immediately prohibit the use of animals in circuses and will encourage the re-homing of all existing circus animals to sanctuaries or other suitable establishments with relocation to the wild wherever possible.”

If the Conservatives, Labour or the Liberal Democrats have an animal rights policy then it is not obvious – unlike that for the Greens.

On a local level, our election six point core policy list included an animal rights point:

  • Promote responsible pet ownership and work to ensure the exclusive use of non-animal tested products in the council’s cleaning and office products.
    • This will help reduce the burden on animal sanctuaries and foster respect and value for animals.

David M. Davison

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8 Responses to “Wild Animals in Circuses – Part Two”

  1. Keith Taylor, a Green Party MEP, has expressed his disappointment and anger over the UK’s decision not to introduce a ban on wild animals in circuses:
    http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/2011/05/16/uk-failure-to-ban-animals-in-circuses-is-just-not-good-enough/

    David M. Davison

  2. Early Day Motion (EDM) 1860 has been sponsored by Gavin Shuker, Labour MP for Luton South, and co-sponsored by Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party and Brighton Pavilion MP, plus others; please urge your MP to sign the EDM:
    http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-11/1860

    Thank you.

    David M. Davison

  3. Animal Aid, Animal Defenders International (ADI), British Veterinary Association (BVA), Born Free Foundation (BFF), Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), Care for the Wild International (CWI), Four Paws, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) UK, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have written an open letter to the Prime Minister setting out their concerns and asking the government to reconsider its position:
    http://www.rspca.org.uk/media/news/story/-/article/EM_Circuses_letter_to_PM_May11

    David M. Davison

  4. Government under fire over circuses (from Born free):
    http://www.bornfree.org.uk/blog/2011/government-under-fire-over-circuses/

    To quote the author of the Born Free blog:
    “Something seems very badly wrong with our parliamentary system when matters of ethics and morality can no longer be the basis for legislation.”

    David M. Davison

  5. This is an extract from an e-mail sent by ADI today (12th April) to its supporters:
    “ADI has decided that Defra’s so-called public consultation on regulations on animals in circuses is manipulative in the extreme and designed to give the Government the answer they want, with no choice of options.

    “Defra did not like the answer they got on their genuine consultation (finalised in 2010) where nearly 95% of the public voted for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. They have now put together a set of questions that ensures they get the answer they want, which is to regulate rather than end the suffering of these animals.

    “The animal circus business has been shown, repeatedly, to tolerate violence towards animals and the conditions that the animals are forced to endure would not be tolerated in the worst zoo. We cannot endorse measures which we do not believe will protect animals. It is a national disgrace, when other countries are taking decisive action on this issue. We urge our supporters to boycott this farce of a consultation.”

    David M. Davison

  6. The RSPCA has called on the government to set a date for a ban on wild animals in circuses:
    http://www.rspca.org.uk/media/news/story/-/article/Demand_ban_in_circuses_April12

    David M. Davsion

  7. “The Born Free Foundation, The British Veterinary Association, The Captive Animals’ Protection Society and the RSPCA welcome the news that the Government has begun work on draft legislation to set out the exact details of the upcoming ban on the use of wild animals in circuses”:
    http://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2012/07/joint-statemen

    David M. Davison

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