Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Defra response to circus report “does not go far enough to safeguard wild animals”

Posted: 22 October 2013. Updated: 27 June 2014

Animal Defenders International (ADI), who exposed the terrible brutality meted out to Anne the elephant at the Bobby Roberts Super Circus, has voiced its disappointment that Defra’s response today to the report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee on the draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill does not go far enough to safeguard the welfare of wild animals in circuses.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI said: “Although ADI welcomes many of the remarks made by Defra in its statement, not least that the circus ban will apply to all wild animals – and not just elephants and big cats, or other disparate species, as suggested by EFRA – we are incredibly disappointed that the loophole in the draft law, which will allow circuses to continue to tour with wild animals has not yet been closed”.

Under the Bill only the “use” of wild animals – namely their performance and display – will be prohibited, meaning that wild animals in circuses could very well continue to be subjected to the same inherent welfare problems associated with the travelling circus that they currently endure.

Jan Creamer: “It is simply not possible for circuses to replicate the natural habitat of a wild animal, or create an environment where its natural behaviours can be adequately satisfied on tour. Even with the best will in the world, animal welfare is compromised and so ADI urges Defra to revise the wording of the legislation to prohibit circuses from touring with wild animals.”

Although the Government seeks to ban the use of wild animals in circuses by December 2015, time is running out for the legislation to be introduced ahead of the proposed implementation date.

Mark Pritchard MP, whose backbench debate led to the unanimous vote for a ban on wild animals in circuses in June 2011, said: “I am glad that the ban on wild animals in circuses is finally being drafted into legislation. However, the Government now needs to find time to bring forward the legislation in the next legislative programme. There also needs to be provision made for the real likelihood that, even with a ban in effect, circuses may still keep wild animals and travel with them, meaning that many of the obvious welfare issues will still not be addressed. I encourage everyone to write to their MP calling for the legislation to be implemented”.



Media contact:
Angie Greenaway
Animal Defenders International
Tel: 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548

Interviews available on request
Images and footage of animals in UK circuses are available from ADI

Wild Animals in Circuses: Questions & Answers

National restrictions on performing animals in traveling circuses, either wild or all animals, have been enacted in 22 countries, including Austria, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Peru, Singapore, Sweden and Taiwan.

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.

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