Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI welcomes new circus bill fronted by former Defra Minister

Posted: 17 July 2014. Updated: 17 July 2014


With the Government’s longstanding pledge to ban wild animals in circuses failing to get off the starting blocks, ADI is delighted to welcome a new backbench bill fronted by former Labour Defra Minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP which seeks to ban wild animal acts before the next election.

Despite its omission from the Queen’s Speech last month, the Government continues to state that it remains committed to the ban. Just this week ADI received a personal letter from the Prime Minister, in which David Cameron writes, “While the recent Queen’s Speech did not contain the Government’s proposed Wild Animals in Circuses Bill, let me reassure you that it remains our position that the use of wild animal acts in travelling circuses is an outdated practice and that we will introduce a ban as soon as Parliamentary time allows”.

The communication was in response to a letter signed by ADI and 75 celebrity and political campaigners urging the Government to bring forward legislation to ban wild animals in circuses. On the day it was presented, the Prime Minister confirmed to the ADI deputation, “We’re going to do it”.

Whilst it is reassuring that the Government remain committed to a ban, we need action to be taken now.

The Government first announced that it would ban wild animal acts back in March 2012 and the delay in bringing in the legislation has seen the number of wild animal acts increase.

As ADI had feared, we have also seen the return of big cats to Peter Jolly’s Circus, one of just two circuses still performing with wild animals in Britain. Earlier this month ADI exposed how these animals are not coping with their unnatural lives; a lion and tiger were filmed pacing up and down their ‘beastwagon’, exhibiting abnormal behaviour not seen in the wild.

ADI applauds Jim Fitzpatrick MP for taking a lead on this and will be working with him to ensure that this important and long-overdue bill is backed by MPs as it progresses through Parliament.

The former Labour Defra Minister, who will introduce the bill in September, said: “I’ve been working on this issue for many years, and committed to taking action when I was a Defra Minister. It’s clear that the public and Parliament are overwhelmingly in favour of banning wild animals in circuses. It is unacceptable that animals continue to suffer as they travel across the country, and I hope that MPs from all parties will support this bill which will have a huge impact on the animals that are currently in circuses in Britain. I’m looking forward to working with Animal Defenders International, who are leading the global campaign on this issue, to ensure it can become law.”

The animals cannot wait for the Government, they need our help now! Please help us secure the ban that was promised.

Take action and help bring in the ban!

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