Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Allerdale Council in Cumbria bans wild animals in circuses

Posted: 3 May 2011. Updated: 3 May 2011

Animal Defenders International (ADI) applauds Allerdale Council for voting to ban circuses with wild animals performing on council land on Wednesday 20 April 2011.

The motion, tabled by Moorclose Councillor Denis Robertson, was approved unanimously.

The decision follows ADI’s recent exposés of animal circuses, in 2009 and 2011. Through this decision, the Allerdale Council sends a strong signal to the Government that it is time for a national ban to end the suffering. Prior to the debate, ADI sent Allerdale Councillors a copy of our report ‘Animals in Travelling Circuses: The Science on Suffering’ and a brief video with supporting evidence revealing that animal welfare of wild and domesticated animals in circuses is inevitably compromised by constant travelling and the temporary nature of animal facilities, in which severe confinement is inevitable and physical abuse commonplace.

The Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Denis Robertson reads as follows: “The disgraceful cruel treatment of the circus elephant reported in the media and also as seen on T.V. is even more appalling when we realise that the circuses actually lease Allerdale owned land on which they perform.

Therefore I call on this Council to agree that we do not let our land to any Circus that has any animals in their shows.”

Councillor Robertson celebrated the decision following the vote and said: “This is not a political vote. This is just common sense. It is the right decision to defend and protect the dignity of these poor animals.”

Jan Creamer, ADI Chief Executive, said: “I applaud Allerdale Councillors for their unanimous decision to ban the use of animals in circuses on Council land. This demonstrates the key role that local authorities can play to stop animal suffering in circuses despite Government inaction. Allerdale is joining hundreds of councils which have looked at the evidence of suffering and banned animal circuses. We hope that more councils will follow, and eventually the Government.”

The decision follows suit with other local bans achieved in councils. In 2009, Councils in Tendring (Essex) and Wandsworth (London) discussed the issue of animal circuses on council owned land and unanimously approved a policy imposing severe restrictions to the presentation of any show, funfair or circus in which there is any reasonable doubt that the five basic freedoms from fear, pain and distress, established by the Animal Welfare Act 2006, were compromised.


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