Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Government to ban wild animals in circuses from 2015

Posted: 16 April 2013. Updated: 7 July 2014

Investigations of cruelty and suffering of animals in circuses by Animal Defenders International (ADI) over the past twenty years have changed public attitudes and ADI welcomes today’s announcement by the Government to end the use of wild animals in circuses. This announcement acknowledges the universal condemnation by animal protection organisations and veterinary surgeons of the training and poor environments that wild animals endure in travelling shows.

Years of studies have shown that travelling circuses cannot meet the needs of wild animals, due to accommodation that is necessarily small, lightweight and easy to transport resulting in environmental and social deprivation. The abnormal behaviours seen in these animals indicate that they are from the confinement, poor environment and long periods of time in their transporters, as well as brutal control methods.

The use of wild animals in circuses provides no educational or conservation value to the audience. Over 94% of the public want wild animals in circuses to be banned, and 65% of politicians, yet the Government enlisted a costly licensing scheme which ADI revealed had failed to be issued to circuses using animals, making the system a farce.

ADI is pleased that, finally, the Government has set a date from which the ban becomes effective after having initially announced its intention to ban over a year ago, but is disappointed however it will be December 2015 before we see an end to the use of wild animals in circuses.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI said: “There is no place in a civilised society for animals to be forced to endure a lifetime of cruelty and confinement for entertainment. We have found the public is overwhelmingly in support of a ban, as are politicians.

“Last year’s conviction of circus owner Bobby Roberts for the cruelty suffered by Anne the circus elephant horrified the world. The public has been crying out for a ban since ADI launched the Stop Circus Suffering campaign in 1992 with our first investigation of the suffering of circus animals. Since then, the number of wild animal circuses has dropped from twenty to just two. The end to the use of these animals for entertainment is long overdue and the UK can join the 20 other countries with prohibitions on wild animal circuses.”



Media contacts:
Ashley Lovell/Angie Greenaway
Animal Defenders International
Tel: 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548

Interviews available on request
Film and photographs of animals in UK circuses are available from ADI

Animal Defenders International
With offices in London, Los Angeles, and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

National measures to restrict either all or wild animals in circuses have been adopted in Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Slovakia, Sweden, Portugal, Taiwan, Singapore, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Costa Rica, India and Israel. Similar laws are being discussed in the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Malta, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Norway.

© Animal Defenders International 2019