Popular bill to bring in Government’s promised ban on wild animals in circuses stalls on TENTH attempt
Comedian Alexei Sayle has joined ADI in calling for action on wild animal circuses, urging Government “to get a move on” and “bring their own bill in” as a backbench bill to bring in the ban that has been promised, but sat upon by Government, continues to be blocked. Today on its tenth attempt to pass to committee stage it was once again blocked by Christopher Chope who has prevented the bill from progressing on seven occasions to date.
Opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses is overwhelming with support for the ban uniting Parliament and the public. The lack of progress on the issue has made it an embarrassing Parliamentary saga. The proposed ban on wild animals in circuses was announced by the Government in 2012, although a ban was promised to Parliament as long ago as 2006. In 2010 a Government Public Consultation saw over 90% of respondents calling for a ban and in 2011, backbench bench MPs voted unanimously for the Government to introduce a ban.
Social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell has joined Alexei Sayle in the plea for action stating he hoped David Cameron “will stop his foot-dragging and bring forward legislation to ensure there are no more wild animals in circuses in Britain” alongside X Factor boyband Fifth Street who said that the ban would “keep the public happy and keep the animals happy.”
In an attempt to progress the ban, Angela Eagle MP yesterday William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, if the Government would give the Circus Bill time for a Second Reading. He responded: “I certainly support that Bill and the Government supports that Bill. I think it would be wrong for the Government to pick bills out of the Private Members’ process and give them Government time… the Bill will have to take it’s normal chances.” This is extraordinary double-speak given the bill was promised by the Government over two years ago and is only in the Private Members’ process because the Government has not given it time. The wording of the Bill, introduced by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, is identical to the Government’s own, unveiled to media fanfare but which has simply gathered dust.
Despite the obstacles we face, ADI will not give up on the animals and will continue to urge David Cameron to keep his word and progress the law, which Wales is seeking to be included in. Please help and take action ahead of the Bill’s next second reading on Friday 27 February.