20,000-strong petition presented to Downing Street calls on the Prime Minister to take action
Almost a year after the Prime Minister gave them a personal promise that wild animals in circuses would be banned, Animal Defenders International and conservationist Stanley Johnson, social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell and a host of cross-party MPs – Angela Smith, Caroline Lucas, David Amess, Jim Dowd, Mark Pritchard, Norman Baker, Tracey Crouch – returned to Downing Street to deliver a 20,000-strong petition urging David Cameron to take action to ensure the law, promised in 2012, is passed before the General Election.
Last April, the Prime Minister promised an ADI delegation headed by Stanley and Peter “We are going to do it” and has since committed to end what he calls an “outdated practice”. Despite the promises, little progress has been made, prompting a bill from Jim Fitzpatrick MP to bring the Government’s own draft legislation forward. Fitzpatrick has described it as “a small measure which will make a big difference to the wild animals currently performing in circuses across Britain”. Shockingly the bill, which enjoys cross-party support, has been repeatedly blocked by a Conservative MP.
Only two circuses continue to tour with wild animals, with fewer than 20 animals. ADI revealed last week that Thomas Chipperfield, a relative of the notorious Mary Chipperfield who was prosecuted for animal cruelty following an ADI investigation and who presents the only lion and tiger circus act in Britain, will not be touring with a circus this year. The act featured in Peter Jolly’s Circus last year, attracting widespread criticism and local protests.
Both Labour and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party have committed to banning the use of wild animals in circuses and ADI is urging all political parties to make election commitments to a ban.
As we help Peru and Colombia implement its animal circus bans – we currently have 30 lions and over 20 native animals in our care – it is incomprehensible that we are still trying to get the ban passed in Britain. Without immediate action, the Government will have failed the animals and the public. David Cameron must keep his promise and end the suffering of wild animals in circuses once and for all.
- Contact William Hague MP, Leader of the House of Commons, and ask him to allocate parliamentary time to the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill.
- Contact Prime Minister David Cameron and ask him to fulfil the promise to end the use of wild animals in travelling circuses and ensure Parliamentary time is given to the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill.
- Contact your MP– in person if you possibly can! – remember they probably support the Bill, but we need their help: ask them to back the Bill and press the Government to allocate time for it; and ensure their party is committed to a ban in their manifestos
- Make a donation– ADI is securing lasting change for circus animals around the world, help us do more!
- Spread the word – share our posts on facebook and twitter #notgivingup #circusban