Here are the highlights of the final months of ADI’s lobbying that turned a Ministerial statement of ‘we will ban nothing’ on its head.
04.01.2006 – ADI’s evidence to EFRA (Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Committee) during their examination of the Bill is circulated to all MPs.
06.01.2006 – ADI amendments to the Animal Welfare Bill are produced, accompanied by supporting evidence.
09.01.2006 – MPs are circulated with document listing changes since the Draft Bill, which concern ADI. Together with evidence.
09.01.2006 – ADI produces a legal comparison/critique between the English and Scottish Animal Welfare Bills.
10.01.2006 – Second reading of Animal Welfare Bill in House of Commons.
12.01.2006 – MPs David Drew and Shona McIsaac table ADI’s amendments to the Bill.
17.01.2006 – First day of the Standing Committee of MPs examining the Bill – ADI attends the sessions. Shona McIsaac MP takes up ADI’s amendments and will present our evidence to Committee.
17.01.2006 – New ADI report ‘Animal Circuses and the Animal Welfare Bill: vote to stop the beatings’, is circulated to all MPs and media.
17.01.2006 – All ADI supporters are contacted with a special mailing including postcards to send to their MP. 24 hours after it landed on supporters’ doorsteps, the first postcards arrive at MPs’ offices. MPs call the ADI offices.
20.01.2006 – A special photocall is held near Parliament with Wendy Turner Webster and Shona McIsaac MP where our ‘Vote to Stop Circus Suffering’ Billboard is unveiled.
20.01.2006 – For two weeks our mobile billboard tours London, Southampton, Northern Ireland and Eire.
22.01.2006 – A national and London press advertising campaign is launched under the slogan “Whip me, beat me, kick me”. Also advertising campaigns in Parliament’s House Magazine and ePolitix site every day during Standing Committee.
23.01.2006 – Video clips of circus beatings are sent by email to all MPs.
23.01.2006 – A special section is created on our website giving the facts about animals in circuses. ADI adverts are placed on search engines like Google and MSN directing people to this.
24.01.2006 – Shona McIsaac MP leads the debate in Standing Committee on animal circuses, citing ADI evidence on the suffering. David Drew MP also presents a strong case, with several MPs on the Standing Committee in support. Minister Ben Bradshaw is reminded that in 1998, he signed an EDM congratulating ADI’s undercover work and calling for a complete ban!
08.02.2006 – A colour sheet with video grabs of some 20 incidents of violence in circuses is sent to MPs, ridiculing the idea of self-regulation and a two-year licence for circuses.
13.02.2006 – Early Day Motion 1626 is tabled in the House of Commons for ADI by Mike Hancock MP. The Motion calls for a complete ban on animals in circuses. 144 MPs have now signed.
01.03.2006 – All local animal protection groups in the UK are contacted urging them to contact their MP, asking for a ban on animal circuses.
03.03.2006 – We write to all MPs urging them to sign EDM 1626.
04.03.2006 – Postcards to supporters requesting they contact their MP urgently, to ask them to sign EDM 1626.
08.03.2006 – Defra Minister Ben Bradshaw announces that Government is now considering a ban on the use of “certain non-domesticated species”.
09.03.2006 – Letter to MPs to ask them to support amendments being tabled for ADI at the third reading of the Animal Welfare Bill.
14.03.2006 – Email to MPs that have signed EDM 1626 to ask them to support amendments tabled on ADI’s behalf.
14.03.2006 – Third reading and Report Stage of Animal Welfare Bill in House of Commons. MPs David Drew, Shona McIsaac and Anne Widdicombe are amongst those putting the case for a ban on animals in circuses. ADI coverage (including a double spread in The Daily Mail) in the previous days is referred to. Peter Luff MP supports animal circuses but has no case when he disputes an ADI MORI poll.
15.03.2006 – A statement from MORI saying they stand by the ADI poll is sent to all MPs.
15.03.2006 – Animal Welfare Bill enters the House of Lords. A letter and Parliamentary Briefing on animals in travelling circuses is sent to members of the House of Lords.
26.3 – 3.4.2006 – An ADI Field Officer is despatched to monitor the Great British, & Zippos circuses, gathering evidence for our new report ‘Animals in Travelling Circuses: The science on suffering’.
27.03.2006 – Scotland announces ban on wild animals in circuses, but there is much support for ADI’s “ban with exemptions” proposal.
19.04.2006 – Peers, MPs and celebrities attend reception hosted by Baroness Byford to launch new report. Baroness Miller subsequently tabled amendment in Grand Committee.