Romford MP claims Government involvement
Efforts to finally ban the use of wild animals in circuses have been hampered by Conservative MP Philip Davies who has blocked the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill introduced by Jim Fitzpatrick MP at its Second Reading today.
The Bill was previously blocked, twice, by Conservative MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, who was previously connected with the now defunct Great British Circus, and appears to still have close ties with the industry. On Wednesday, animal trainer Rona Brown told a Parliamentary committee in Catalonia that an MP “said ‘No’” to the Bill in Parliament last week and “the same thing will happen” this week.
Mr Rosindell claimed earlier this week he was “asked” by Government to block the Bill and has since stated that his actions were “supported” by Government. However, the Government yesterday reiterated its support for a ban, with William Hague stating “we want to legislate on this matter”, in response to questions over “contrived” dealings by Jim Fitzpatrick MP.
It remains to be seen whether the Government is indeed sabotaging its own efforts to prohibit wild animal circus acts but, if so, it must answer to the public and parliament.
The Bill put forward by Mr Fitzpatrick has the same wording as the Government’s own draft legislation, published last April, and seeks to secure the ban promised by Government in 2012 ahead of the General Election, to ensure that the proposed implementation date of December 2015 is met. It will be put forward again for a second reading on 7th November.
Despite having a reputation as being a leader in animal welfare, Britain is lagging behind 28 countries worldwide that have introduced prohibitions on animal circus acts. Ironically, in the draft legislation, Defra Minister Lord de Mauley states that the British ban will “help ensure that our international reputation as a leading protector of animals continues into a new global era”!
Don’t let the Government or MPs play political football with the lives of animals continuing to suffer in British circuses! Help us ensure the Government comes good on its promises and ensure this bill passes.