ADI is delighted to learn of East Ayrshire Council’s recent unanimous decision to ban all travelling circuses with performing animals from its land.
Through this decision, East Ayrshire Council sends a strong signal to Government that it is time for national bans to be introduced to end the suffering.
Local authorities can play a key role in stopping animal suffering in circuses despite continued Government inaction. East Ayrshire is joining hundreds of councils which have looked at the evidence of suffering and banned animal circuses.
We hope that more councils will follow, and Government will recognise, through the activities of East Ayrshire Council, other Councils, the public and politicians, that this country is calling for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and demands it – now.
The government has continued in its attempts to block a ban on wild animals in circuses, progressing with a system of licensing instead.
Last May, Defra minister Jim Paice announced to the House of Commons that a UK ban might invite a legal challenge from Europe (citing Austria), or that it might be challenged under the European Services Directive and/or the Human Rights Act. These arguments have subsequently been crushed, but still Defra looks for reasons not to implement a ban, contradicting itself along the way.
The Government continues to drag its feet over enacting an outright ban, which has received support from over 94% of the public, and an overwhelming vote in Parliament’s Backbencher’s Committee where MPs unanimously approved a motion directing the government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses by July 2012. Shortly after the Prime Minister was quoted as saying that he was ‘minded’ to ban.