Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

MPs urged to vote to ban circus animals for the first time in the UK Animal Welfare Bill

Posted: 13 January 2006

ADI’s amendments to the Animal Welfare Bill represent the first time a ban on circus animals has been put before Parliament. They have been tabled by MPs Shona McIsaac and David Drew, both on the Standing Committee (for details see ‘Notes to Editors’) examining the BIll.

The UK’s Animal Welfare Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons on 10th January and will finish in Committee on January 26th. The Bill covers animals in circuses and represents a genuine opportunity to end this archaic abuse in the UK once and for all. Several MPs who were speakers in the 2nd Reading debate this week supported a call for a ban of circus animals.

Shona McIsaac, MP on Standing Committee for the Bill agrees: “As regards performing animals in circuses I will be leading the debate in Committee pressing for a total ban and I hope the government will acknowledge that the majority of the British public supports such a ban.”

Jenny Seagrove, film and TV actress currently starring in the BBC’s crime drama, ‘Judge John Deed’, agrees: “ It breaks my heart to know that animals are still chained and caged and dragged around the country in miserable conditions with circuses. We know how much these beautiful creatures suffer, so why do we still allow it? Animal circuses are a thing of the past to anyone with a heart, so let’s put an end to them for good.”

The Bill has been drafted by Defra (Department of Food & Rural Affairs), to whom ADI submitted a formidable body of evidence – including filmed videos, photographs and reports.

An ADI commissioned MORI opinion poll recently revealed:
80% say ban all wild animal circus acts.
65% say ban all animal circus acts.
90% against whipping and beating when
whipping and beating when training
circus animals.
Only 7% strongly opposed the calls for

Jan Creamer, ADI Chief Executive said: “ADI has now produced a new parliamentary briefing for MPs to urge them to vote to ban animal circuses (see at: )
and is asking for a Free Vote on this. We have built the most comprehensive guide available to all the issues involved on our website. Simply visit and click on ‘Everything you need to know about the use of animals in circuses’.

ADI are launching a massive awareness drive to mobilise supporters to urge their MPs to get behind the amendment.

ADI’s campaign to ban animals in circuses spans a decade, starting with a revolutionary report of its own investigation called “The Ugliest Show On Earth”. This led to the first ever convictions for cruelty in circuses of Mary Chipperfield and others and subsequently to the virtual collapse of the circus industry. ADI’s observations in the past few years in the UK, Norway, Portugal, Ireland, and the USA produced shocking filmed images for the ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ video. All these investigations have served to produce the most compelling evidence yet of the misery of animals in circuses and the unnatural conditions under which they are forced to exist.

As of today, there is an opportunity before Parliament to end this suffering and abuse once and for all.

_____________________________ENDS _____________________________

ADI’s Animal Welfare Bill Amendments:
ADI’s list of tabled amendments by MPs Shona McIsaac and David Drew who are both on the Standing Committee includes:
● A ban of the use of animals in travelling circuses
● That the regulations (Clause 10) provide for the prohibition of the keeping of animals of a specified kind in specified circumstances
● That the regulations (Clause 10) provide for the prohibition of the use of animals of a specified kind for a specified purpose.
(These two amendments to Clause 10 regulations would bring back into the Bill provisions which have been removed since the Draft Bill).
● Leave out paragraph 4(3)(d) which provides that consideration should be given as to whether the suffering inflicted on an animal was “proportionate to the purpose of the conduct concerned”.
● Leave out subsection 8(3), refers to the circumstances which should be taken into account when applying the Duty of Care rule, should include “lawful purpose for which the animal is kept”, and “lawful activity undertaken in relation to the animal”.

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