In a letter to Animal Defenders International, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, the minister for animal welfare at Defra, reiterated his earlier indication that the Labour government intend to pursue a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.
Having previously posted a video onto Defra’s website saying he was “minded” to ban circuses from using wild animals in their acts, following the results of a government public consultation in which 94.5% of respondents backed a ban of the use of wild animals in circuses, Mr Fitzpatrick has since described the Labour party’s commitment to such a ban as“unequivocal”.
Mr Fitzpatrick pledged that should Labour be re-elected, “a new Labour government will bring forward measures later in the year that will bring an end to this practice”. He also indicated that any animals affected by the ban would be“properly looked after”.
- Read the full letter
- Find out more about the policies of the UK parties
- Watch ADI’s video following the public consultation
ADI’s ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ Campaign
- In 1998, ADI launched the most comprehensive ever expose of the use of animals in circuses and secured the first cruelty convictions of Mary Chipperfield, her husband Roger Cawley and their elephant trainer. Since then, ADI has sent field officers into circuses in the UK, Europe, South America and the USA.
- In 2009 Because of government inaction, the Great British Circus imported three elephants from Germany. An ADI investigation released undercover video footage detailing suffering and beatings of elephants. The video received widespread media coverage, and the government announced this public consultation.