Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI to Present Evidence of No European Block to Circus Ban

Posted: 18 May 2011. Updated: 18 May 2011

Animal Defenders International (ADI) & Senior Conservative Politicians Meeting With Government This Morning To Discuss Wild Animals In Circuses Ban

This morning, representatives of ADI are meeting with Lord Henley, the Under Secretary of State with animal welfare portfolio, senior Conservative MP’s Neil Parish (Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare) and Mark Pritchard (nominated as Parliamentarian of the Year (2009) for Animal Welfare and Secretary of the 1922 Committee).

The Austrian Constitutional Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union who have jurisdiction in this matter have both informed ADI that no case has been lodged. Last week Government announced that they were unable to ban the use of wild animals in circuses due to a current legal challenge in court. This legal challenge has been proven not to exist, which paves the way for Government to now implement a ban.

The purpose of the meeting is to:

  • Discuss Government’s recent announcement that they are unable to ban the use of wild animals in circuses due to a current legal challenge involving the Austrian Government’s circus ban;
  • The final results of the public consultation on animal circuses;
  • Current options being studied by Defra for a regulation and licensing system;
  • Enforcement, costs and other concerns about a new licensing system and next steps.

  • Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of Animal Defenders International said: “We are meeting with top officials and high ranking politicians today to discuss the Coalition Government’s reasons for not banning the use of wild animals in circuses, which is misleading, costly and flies in the face of public opinion. Nearly three quarters of the British public recently voted overwhelmingly in independent polls for a ban, making it abundantly clear that they oppose regulation.

    “A ban is what the public wants, politicians want, and animal welfare groups want. The Government is incorrect. We have been advised by the European and Austrian Courts that there is no case pending. The Government is basing its policy on unsubstantiated reports.”

    The Austrian ban has been firmly in place for over 6 years and other European countries such as Denmark have implemented similar bans without challenge. Countries such as Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and Sweden all have similar legislation with restrictions.

    There have been more exposés of the brutality of the circus industry in the UK than any country in the world. ADI will be requesting that Government now reconsiders its position in light of this crucial development, so that the UK can claim to be a nation of animal lovers and a world leader in animal protection.


    A further release is to be issued later today as a result of this meeting, listing outcomes

    Media Contact:
    Phil Buckley, Media Relations Director, Animal Defenders International, 07716 018250, 0207 630 3344,


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