Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Government to ban wild animals in circuses from 2015

Posted: 16 April 2013. Updated: 16 April 2013


Investigations of cruelty and suffering of animals in circuses by ADI over the past twenty years have changed public attitudes and ADI welcomes today’s announcement by the Government to end the use of wild animals in circuses. This announcement acknowledges the universal condemnation by animal protection organisations and veterinary surgeons of the training and poor environments that wild animals endure in travelling shows.

Years of studies have shown that travelling circuses cannot meet the needs of wild animals, due to accommodation that is necessarily small, lightweight and easy to transport resulting in environmental and social deprivation. The abnormal behaviours seen in these animals indicate that they are from the confinement, poor environment and long periods of time in their transporters, as well as brutal control methods.

The use of wild animals in circuses provides no educational or conservation value to the audience. Over 94% of the public want wild animals in circuses to be banned, and 65% of politicians, yet the Government enlisted a costly licensing scheme which ADI revealed had failed to be issued to circuses using animals, making the system a farce.

ADI is pleased that, finally, the Government has set a date from which the ban becomes effective after having initially announced its intention to ban over a year ago, but is disappointed however it will be December 2015 before we see an end to the use of wild animals in circuses.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI said: “There is no place in a civilised society for animals to be forced to endure a lifetime of cruelty and confinement for entertainment. We have found the public is overwhelmingly in support of a ban, as are politicians.

“Last year’s conviction of circus owner Bobby Roberts for the cruelty suffered by Anne the circus elephant horrified the world. The public has been crying out for a ban since ADI launched the Stop Circus Suffering campaign in 1992 with our first investigation of the suffering of circus animals. Since then, the number of wild animal circuses has dropped from twenty to just two. The end to the use of these animals for entertainment is long overdue and the UK can join the 20 other countries with prohibitions on wild animal circuses.”

  • View the Wild Animals in Circuses bill here
  • Read about our UK campaign to end wild animals in circuses here
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