Circus bill blocked for 5th time by Christopher Chope MP
ADI has called on the Government to do more to pass the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill, which has today been blocked by a Conservative MP for a fifth time. This latest setback was dealt by Christopher Chope MP who has previously blocked the Bill, which would ban the use of wild animal in circuses and has enormous public support.
The Wild Animals in Circuses Bill was introduced on 3rd September and seeks to secure the ban promised by Government in 2012 ahead of the General Election, to ensure that its proposed implementation date of December 2015 is met. The ban enjoys cross-party support as well as that of the public and animal protection groups.
Christopher Chope MP stated that he blocked the bill on its last reading because he believes that it should be “debated properly”. However, the issue has been debated at length, leading to a unanimous vote to ban wild animal acts in 2011. ADI wrote to Chope to advise that Jim Fitzpatrick’s circus Bill shares the exact wording of the Government’s draft circus Bill, which has been considered by the Government’s EFRA committee. Were the Bill allowed to pass, it would be scrutinised line by line. Before objecting to the circus Bill, Chope allowed an undebated Bill to pass. Conservative MPs Andrew Rosindell and Phillip Davies have also blocked the circus Bill on previous occasions.
ADI considers that the Bill put forward by former Defra Minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP provides the best opportunity to secure the ban. It will be put forward again for a second reading on November 28th.
The Government reiterated last month its support for a ban, with William Hague stating “we want to legislate on this matter” and the Prime Minister previously pledged to ban what he calls an “outdated practice”. Despite repeated promises, little progress has been made.
Britain is lagging behind 28 countries worldwide that have introduced prohibitions on animal circus acts. Just recently, Malta passed into law a ban on all animal acts, having published its draft legislation after a public consultation which, like Britain, found that 94% backed a ban last year. Over 200 local authorities in the UK also have bans on the use of animals in circuses on public land. Public attitudes have changed and the appetite for wild animal circus acts has plummeted, with only two circuses performing with wild animals in Britain today.
- Please join us in urging the Government to back the bill at its next reading on November 28th. SIGN & SHARE OUR PETITION
- See how it should be done! Watch how the ban in Bolivia was won and the animals freed from the circus. Join us at the Gala Screening of Lion Ark on December 6th