Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

ADI condemns call for animal circuses to be permitted in Wycombe

Posted: 21 November 2008

Animal Defenders International (ADI) is strongly urging Wycombe Borough Council in Buckinghamshire to reject circus industry calls for performing animals in circuses to be allowed on council land.

Circuses using animals have been banned in the borough for the past 16 years. However, now a circus has pressed councillors to change the rules to allow them, claiming there is no scientific evidence to suggest that animals should not be used.

ADI strongly contests this claim, and has produced a wealth of film footage and photographs, taken by undercover officers in the UK and worldwide. Our findings reveal that animal welfare is inevitably compromised by the traveling and temporary nature of the circus, with animals often confined in small spaces, and some animals suffering physical and psychological abuse. In addition, scientific studies of the effects on animals in captivity and transport in a range of industries have provided evidence of suffering and compromised welfare. The circumstances that cause suffering in other industries are present in circuses.

After the Government missed an opportunity to ban animal circuses with the Animal Welfare Act 2006, a Circus Working Group was established by DEFRA to gather and evaluate evidence. However, this has been roundly criticized for discounting much of the evidence before it could even be considered. More than 180 cross-party MPs have signed a parliamentary petition calling for the Government to fulfil its commitment to ban wild animals in circuses and to set up a proper licensing system for domesticated animals. EDM 965 is the animal welfare parliamentary petition with the third highest number of signatures, putting it in the top one per cent.

Circus animals are not currently given protection under the Animal Welfare Act as circus regulations have not yet been written. Any council that acts to allow animal circuses is getting ahead of the law.
ADI Chief Executive, Jan Creamer, says “It is extraordinary that, while worldwide awareness of animal suffering in circuses has never been greater, and an increasing number of countries like Brazil, Colombia and Bolivia are seriously considering bans on animals in circuses, English councils would suddenly go backward in history, and allow what is considered unacceptable by 80 per cent of the British public. ADI strongly urges Wycombe councillors to stand up for animal welfare and reject circus industry calls to overturn protection for circus animals.”
______________ENDS___________________

NOTES TO EDITORS

The ADI report ‘Animals in Travelling Circuses: The Science on Suffering’ is online here: http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=1414&ssi=10

The regulatory and appeals committee of Wycombe Borough Council is due to discuss the issue on Monday 24th November.

Early Day Motion 965, tabled by Mark Pritchard MP (Con, Wrekin), states “That this House notes with concern that the Circus Working Group disregarded substantial amounts of evidence on the welfare of animals in circuses as a result of the methodology imposed by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; believes that the report of the Chair of the Circus Working Group fails to provide reliable information on this subject; and urges the Government to maintain its commitment to ban the use of wild species in travelling circuses and to restrict and limit the use of domesticated species under a strict, accountable and open licensing system.”
The list of signatories to EDM 965 can be found here: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=35158

© Animal Defenders International 2019