Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Public and MPs unite in call for circus animal ban

Posted: 4 March 2011. Updated: 17 April 2015

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With a government announcement expected “imminently” regarding how to regulate the use of wild animals in UK circuses, ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign has stepped up a gear to push for a complete ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

Following a photocall with MPs outside the Houses of Parliament, and a huge wave of public backing, the case for ending circus animal suffering has never been made more strongly.

The department responsible for this decision, Defra, is believed to be considering implementing a ban on the practice, but is also believed to be looking at options for government regulation and – shockingly – “self-regulation” by the circus industry itself.

This is despite ADI repeatedly exposing cruelty and violence in UK circuses, and the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence for endemic animal suffering as a result of life in the travelling circus.

This is also despite 94.5% of the public declaring their support for a ban in a Defra consultation, a poll showing 63% of MPs also support a ban, and over 170 MPs signing EDM 403 calling for a ban, making it one of the highest animal welfare motions on record. If this decision were to be made by a referendum, or even a vote in the House of Commons, a ban would already be in place.

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The Elephant Tour hits London

To re-ignite public awareness and highlight to the Minister responsible for the decision that this is an issue of great public and political concern, ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign has taken to the streets.

In February, the team was joined by over 20 MPs outside the Houses of Parliament to publicly call for a ban, a photo of which was printed widely throughout the media. The following week, ADI campaigners began an “Elephant Tour” of London, visiting boroughs around the capital and calling for more MPs to sign the EDM. As a direct result, influential MPs Joan Ruddock (Labour) and Richard Ottaway (Conservative) added their backing to the campaign.

Other influential MPs who have spoken out in the media in support of a ban are former Defra Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, and Conservative animal welfare champions Neil Parish, Mark Pritchard and Zac Goldsmith.

ADI’s Elephant Tour is still underway, with a sixth stop planned for 13th March in Alexandra Palace park farmers market from 10-3. ADI campaigners will be giving out information about circus cruelty and asking the public to sign postcards for their MP to show the constituency supports a ban. So far we’ve had overwhelming support from the public with nearly 200 postcards signed at most venues – a huge response, for which we are extremely grateful.

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How you can help

We are planning to continue our tour in the coming weeks, which will coincide with the animal circuses’ own touring dates.

  • Ask your MP to sign EDM 403: click here to find out how.
  • Join us on our Elephant Tour: if you live in London, visit click here and find out when our team will be in your area!
  • Demonstrate when the circus comes to town: email our team, and find out about organising or attending a demonstration against animal circuses. We can provide free posters and leaflets, and information on the latest tour dates for UK circuses.

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