Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Select Committee says ban wild animal acts


We provided evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee reviewing the draft Animal Welfare Bill. In their report, the Committee of 17 MPs expressed agreement with several points raised by ADI, including one asking that the Bill cover invertebrates such as octopuses and lobsters. On performing animals, the Committee state: “We agree with Defra that new
regulation is required in respect of performing animals used in circuses, television, films, theatre and promotional work. However, we are concerned that Defra’s proposals do not go further. It is poor logic on the part of Defra to suggest that a ban on performing animals in circuses is not necessary
because the number of performing animals in circuses is declining. Welfare standards in those circuses which do remain must still be addressed. Defra does not appear to have considered the distinction between the use of ‘wild’ animals including wild animals that have been bred in captivity—and domesticated animals in circuses. The
welfare needs of wild animals are obviously very different from those of domestic animals, and more difficult for circuses—which are by their nature,
itinerant—to meet. We recommend that Defra amends its proposals to license the use of performing animals in circuses by distinguishing between the use of wild animals and domesticated
animals in circuses, with a view to prohibiting the use of the former. Circuses should not be permitted either to bring in new wild animals or to breed
from their existing wild animals.”

The Committee also asked for clarification of the nature of any licensing and whether Defra planned to regulate visiting international circuses. ADI believes that there is a strong case for banning domestic animals in circuses – they suffer too, living in temporary accommodation for most of the year, and abused during training.

Animal circuses: Evidence of suffering and abuse

Animal circuses: Opinions

Animal circuses: Circuses and the UK Animal Welfare Bill

Animal circus: Video evidence of violence towards animals

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