Ban on the use of certain wild animals planned for the UK
Yesterday Defra Minister Ben Bradshaw announced to the House of Commons that a ban on the use of certain wild animals was being planned for the UK under the Animal Welfare Bill.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mark Pritchard has asked: What changes are proposed to animal welfare legislation in Northern Ireland; and if the Minister will make a statement.
On Tuesday a dramatic billboard, organised by Animal Defenders International (ADI) calling for a ban on the use of wild animals toured Belfast before moving on today to Dublin. This is part of a global campaign by ADI to end the use of animals in travelling circuses. In Ireland ADI are working with the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) to promote the campaign.
Tim Phillips, Campaigns Director of ADI: “This is wonderful news from Parliament and we are now waiting with bated breath for confirmation that the prohibition on wild animals in circuses will be effective in Northern Ireland – we can see no reason not to implement a ban here. We have always had a very positive response to our campaigns from people in Northern Ireland, and already councils in Belfast and Moyle have banned animal circuses from their land.
“The simple fact is that travelling from place to place, with limited space and long periods on transporters animal welfare will always be compromised in travelling circuses. We are delighted that Defra have acknowledged this fundamental problem.””
ADI’s undercover investigations in the UK are widely credited with turning public opinion against the use of animals in circuses and leading ultimately to Defra’s statement today. Last year the group released the findings of investigations into circuses touring Ireland. The Irish findings included video of an elephant being kicked and punched and a camel being hit across the face with a broomhandle.