Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Letter to the Queen from Sir Roger Moore & Imelda Staunton OBE

Posted: 28 May 2014

Award-winning actors Sir Roger Moore KBE and Imelda Staunton OBE have written to the Queen to urge her to include a commitment to a wild animal circus ban in her speech at the State Opening of Parliament on 4th June. Find out more

The text of the letter reads:


We are writing to you as we are deeply concerned for wild animals who are made to perform, and continue to suffer in circuses across Britain. Amongst them are lions, tigers, snakes, camels and zebra.

We, alongside many vets, animal welfare experts, animal protection groups, politicians and the vast majority of the British public, strongly oppose the use of wild animals in circuses. In fact, a consultation undertaken by Defra found that an overwhelming 94.5% support legislation to prohibit wild animal use. It is clear that the public does not want to see wild animals perform demeaning and unnatural tricks that turn them into caricatures of their wild selves and this is a view that has been consistently held for many years.

Recognising the significant support there is for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, the Government announced in March 2012 its intention to introduce legislation to prohibit such acts, stating: “there is little or no educational, conservational, research or economic benefit derived from wild animals in travelling circuses that might justify their use and the loss of their ability to behave naturally as a wild animal.”

However, following the publication of the Draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill last April, little progress has been made to bring this long overdue legislation into law, despite an implementation date of December 2015 being proposed in the Bill. We are seriously concerned – as are many others – about the lack of commitment to enact this important and well supported piece of legislation and fear that action will not be taken as promised by this Government.

The travelling circus environment can never adequately meet the complex needs of wild animals. Circus animals are forced to endure constant travel and cramped, temporary accommodation, and often spend prolonged periods either tethered or in confinement.

Animal Defenders International has exposed many instances of abuse, such as that meted out to Trudy the chimp, who was kicked and beaten by her trainer Mary Chipperfield, and Anne the elephant, who was chained to the ground and beaten with a pitchfork at Bobby Roberts Circus.

We cannot allow this cruelty and deprivation to continue.

We are asking you, your Majesty, to ensure that the ban is swiftly passed ahead of the general Election in 2015 by including it in your speech at the State Opening of Parliament. By affirming the Government’s commitment to a ban we can condemn this archaic form of entertainment to history, just as 27 countries around the world have already done.

We have the honour to be, Madam, Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servants,

Sir Roger Moore KBE
Imelda Staunton OBE

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