ADI highlights how time available to bring in legislation before election
As the bill to ban wild animals in circuses continues to be blocked by Conservative MPs – today once again by Christopher Chope – ADI is urging the Government, who have promised to introduce legislation “as soon as parliamentary time allows”, to take action once and for all. In a letter to Defra Minister Lord De Mauley ADI highlights how there is indeed the time needed to bring in the ban before the General Election.
Without action from Government, the proposed implementation date of December 2015 for the legislation is unlikely to be met, as the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill introduced by Jim Fitzpatrick MP continues to be blocked by Conservative MPs.
The circus Bill was today blocked for a sixth time but will be put forward again for a second reading on December 5th. When challenged today in Parliament as to why he is blocking the Bill, Mr Chope stated “I believe his Bill should be a Government Bill, because it was promised by the Government.” The MP previously stated he had blocked the bill because he believes that it should be “debated properly”. However, the issue has been debated at length and were the Bill allowed to pass, it would be scrutinised line by line. Conservative MPs Andrew Rosindell and Phillip Davies have also blocked the circus Bill on previous occasions.
This ban is long overdue, with the Government first committing to prohibit wild animal acts more than two years ago, and draft legislation published and scrutinised by an EFRA committee over a year ago. It has also been four years since Defra’s public consultation found 94.5% of respondents backed a ban, and three years since the House of Commons voted unanimously in favour of the measure.
As outlined in our letter to Lord de Mauley this week, there is clearly time for the promised legislation to be passed. Since the Queen’s Speech in June, the House of Commons has sat for 66 days, of which just 36 were taken up by Government business. The Queen’s Speech itself contained only 11 Bills, the lowest number for at least 20 years and fewer than the Queen’s Speech prior to the last election, when the session was five months shorter. The Government has even been allocated un-allotted opposition days for debate, with the Chief Whip also reported as having told MPs there will be no significant votes on a Thursday to enable them to campaign in the General Election.
With around 60 sitting days left until Parliament is dissolved for the General Election, and the majority of Bills set out in the Queen’s Speech having received a Second Reading, there is ample time for legislation to pass and for the will of the public and parliament to be met.
IT’S TIME TO STOP CIRCUS SUFFERING IN BRITAIN!