A bill championed by ADI to end the use of wild animals in British circuses has been blocked for the final time crushing hopes of a ban before the general election.
A bill championed by ADI to end the use of wild animals in British circuses has been blocked for the twelfth and final time today, crushing hopes that the ban would be brought in before the general election. Enjoying cross-party support the bill has been dogged by a few Conservative MPs who have ignored the huge public opposition to these wild animal acts.
It is now down to the political parties to make election commitments to bring in a ban without delay and ahead of the December 2015 implementation date set out in the Government’s draft legislation which they have failed to progress. ADI will be doing all it can to ensure that wild animals will not be forced to perform for yet another year.
The repeated failings of the circuses drive home the very urgent need for action. The interim licensing system introduced two years ago ahead of legislation being brought in has proved to be unfit for purpose. Its own reports highlight the difficulty of enforcing welfare and public safety provisions. The secret licence applications and inspection reports are not publicly available and have only been released under Freedom of Information Act requests by ADI. The most recent reports reveal that one of the two remaining circuses with wild animals failed to prevent public access to animals despite being instructed to ensure public safety on three previous occasions, in breach of licensing requirements.
Every inspection report since the regulations were introduced have highlighted animal welfare concerns and, together with ADI’s video evidence, clearly demonstrate that it is not possible to safeguard the welfare of wild animals in circuses. The reports also show how public safety is being put at risk.
Opposition to the use of wild animals in circuses is overwhelming with support for the ban uniting Parliament and the public alike. Just last week, an ADI delegation of cross-party MPs, conservationist Stanley Johnson and social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell delivered a 20,000-strong petition calling on David Cameron to act, almost a year after the Prime Minister gave a personal promise that wild animals in circuses will be banned.
Worldwide, 30 countries have national prohibitions on animal circuses and similar laws are now under discussion in several more, including the US where one of America’s biggest circuses, Ringling Bros. and Barnham and Bailey Circus, announced yesterday it will stop using elephants in its shows stating “There’s been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers.”
- Contact your MP and ask them to ensure their party is committed to a ban on wild animals in circuses in their manifestos
- Contact your local candidates ahead of the General Election and ask for their views on the ban. If you need assistance identifying candidates, please contact the ADI office
- Make a donation – ADI is securing lasting change for circus animals around the world, help us do more!