Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Sir Roger Moore & Imelda Staunton OBE urge Queen to ensure wild animal circus ban passed

Posted: 28 May 2014. Updated: 28 May 2014

Award-winning actors Sir Roger Moore KBE, best known as James Bond, and Imelda Staunton OBE, who stars in new Disney film Maleficent, have joined ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign – writing 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.

Sir Roger and Imelda’s letter raises concerns that, despite Government promises, action to bring a ban on wild animals in circuses into law has been slow. Having been honoured by the Queen, they are now urging Her Majesty to include the ban in her speech to ensure that wild animals do not continue to suffer in British circuses.


Following ADI’s shocking revelations of the brutal violence and constant chaining of Anne the elephant at the Bobby Roberts Super Circus – whose owner was found guilty of offences under the Animal Welfare Act – the Government announced its intention to ban wild animals in circuses “at the earliest opportunity” back in March 2012. However, following the publication of the Draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill last April, little progress has been made to bring this legislation into law, despite an implementation date of December 2015 being proposed in the Bill. ADI has kept up the pressure, securing a commitment from the Prime Minister just last month that a ban would be passed after a delegation led by former Conservative MEP and conservationist Stanley Johnson, and social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell, delivered a letter to Downing Street signed by 75 celebrities and politicians including Dame Judi Dench, June Brown MBE, Prunella Scales CBE, Timothy West CBE, Ann Widdecombe DSG, Brian Blessed, Dominic West, Eddie Izzard, Julian Clary, Michaela Strachan, Ben Goldsmith and Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle MP.

The delay in bringing in the ban has already seen the return of big cats to the UK – a lion and tiger act from Ireland presented by Thomas Chipperfield, a relative of the notorious Mary Chipperfield, who was prosecuted for animal cruelty following an ADI exposé in the late 1990s. The animals are forced to perform with Peter Jolly’s Circus, one of only two circuses still touring with wild animals in England, and the only act of its kind in the country. How many more animals will have to suffer before action is finally taken?

As the UK drags its feet, more countries are discussing and passing legislation to ban animal circus acts – in Peru ADI is currently liaising with the authorities to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of their animals following a ban on wild animals in circuses (find out more about the rescue mission here).

Take action!

  • Make a donation to help us push through the British ban AND save Peru’s animals from their circus cages

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