Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Wandsworth Council bans wild animals in circuses

Posted: 11 November 2009. Updated: 11 November 2009


Animal Defenders International (ADI) applauds Wandsworth Council for voting to strengthen its ban on circuses with wild animals performing on council land. The vote followed a showdown in Committee between ADI and the Great British Circus. The Council decision also coincides with a decision by the Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to reopen investigating the feasibility of banning the use of wild animals in circuses nationally.

Wandsworth Council Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on 27 October 2009 to consider the council’s policy on the use of non-domesticated animals in circuses. A motion was approved “that the Executive approve the extension of the ban on non-domesticated animals to all of the Borough’s parks and open spaces, in respect of circuses, fairs and any other events.” The Executive Committee have now approved the motion.

For a year ADI have been urging the Council to extend its ban on animal circuses being permitted on council owned land. This summer ADI hit the headlines after releasing video footage from a camera concealed in the elephant tent of the Great British Circus. The video revealed shocking physical abuse of the elephants and that the elephants were chained, barely able to move, for ten or more hours a day – despite a claim in Parliament to MPs earlier in the year that there were “no chains in the elephant tent”.

On 27th Jan Creamer, ADI Chief Executive, and Chris Baltrop of the Great British Circus met in the Council Chamber to present their respective evidence. The Committee backed the ADI call for a ban.
The ban, expected to cover much of Clapham Common, has been hailed as a significant victory.

Jan Creamer, ADI Chief Executive, said: “We applaud the Council for its reasoned approach to this matter, reviewing the evidence and acting decisively. I hope that Westminster is watching Wandsworth and will quickly follow suit with a national prohibition. Our evidence shows that keeping animals in restricted temporary accommodation and the types of control and training methods employed by circuses mean that animals suffer."

Up to 80% of the public want to see a ban on wild animals in travelling circuses and less than two weeks, over 80 MPs have signed Early Day Motion 2179 calling on the government to ban wild animal acts and fulfil a promise made in 2006.

Watch the full-length video of Stop Circus Suffering on YouTube

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