Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

United Call for Circus Ban Leads to Commitment From Prime Minister

Posted: 8 April 2014. Updated: 9 April 2014


The Prime Minister has made a firm commitment to take action on bringing in the circus ban after 75 celebrities and politicians united with ADI to take action on the issue, urging David Cameron to speed along plans to bring in the ban in a letter which was presented to him today.

Talking outside Downing Street, David Cameron informed the ADI deputation - headed up by former Conservative MEP and conservationist Stanley Johnson and social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell - that “we’re going to do it”.

We are delighted to hear that the Prime Minister has made this commitment – the public has been waiting 20 years for the suffering of circus animals to stop. We hope the end is finally in sight.

Our thanks to Stanley Johnson, Peter Tatchell and MPs Jim Dowd, Caroline Lucas, John McDonnell and Adrian Sanders, who joined ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer in handing in the letter to the Prime Minister.


The elephant-shaped letter urges the Prime Minister to ensure that the ban promised by the government is swiftly progressed and following his commitment today, we hope that action will be taken on this soon.

Signatories of the letter include comedians Eddie Izzard and Julian Clary, musician Moby, wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan, actors Brian Blessed and Judi Dench, and famous graduates of David Cameron’s former school, Eton, actor Dominic West and sustainable investment leader Ben Goldsmith.

The clock is ticking to secure the ban on wild animals in circuses and the Prime Minister must come good on the government’s promise, first made back in 2012.

Actions not words can save wild animals from a life of misery in British circuses. The delay in bringing in the ban has already seen the return of big cats to Britain last year – a lion and tiger act presented by Thomas Chipperfield, a relative of the notorious Mary Chipperfield, who was prosecuted for animal cruelty following an ADI expose in the late 1990s.


After years of campaigning by ADI and exposing the shocking brutality that circus animals endure in Britain – such as the terrible violence and constant chaining that Anne the elephant was subjected to at the Bobby Roberts Super Circus – the use of wild animals in circuses is now a rare sight and just two circuses now continue to perform with such acts (Peter Jolly’s Circus and Circus Mondao).

However if the ban does not swiftly progress through Parliament, its proposed implementation date of December 2015 may be missed, resulting in continued animal suffering and the possibility that more wild animals could be brought into the country to perform.

ADI is also concerned that the draft Bill allows a loophole that could mean wild animals continue to tour with circuses after the ban. We are lobbying for an amendment to be introduced to prohibit this.

Please help us call time on the suffering of wild animals in circuses in Britain once and for all.

Take action!

  • Contact your MP today and urge them to support the swift progress of the bill through Parliament and for the loophole to be closed – you can find out who your MP is and contact them here and download our template letter here
  • Make a donation to help us expose the suffering of wild animals in British circuses and push through the ban
  • Find out more about our global Stop Circus Suffering campaign

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