Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI calls for help to get circus animal ban in Queen’s Speech

Posted: 1 May 2014

Animal Defenders International (ADI) is urging MPs to support a new Early Day Motion (EDM 1301) tabled yesterday that calls on the Government to take urgent action to ban wild animals in circuses. Legislation banning such acts was drafted last year, but little progress has since been made.

EDM 1301 calls for the Government to commit to progressing a wild animal circus ban in the Queen’s Speech, announced on 4th June, and to urgently pass legislation for the ban before the General Election. On its first day, the EDM won cross-party support with signatures from 20 MPs. The draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill was published last March, and has already been examined by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick who tabled the EDM said: “It is the will of MPs and the will of the people to end the cruel use of wild animals in circuses. It has now been almost three years since Parliament voted unanimously for a ban. The Government should do what it promised and include the Bill in the Queen’s Speech so we can get on and end this outdated practice before the General Election.”

ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer said: “There is overwhelming public and political support for a ban on wild animals in circuses. I urge the Government to seize the opportunity to honour its commitment to end this unpopular and outdated form of entertainment by including the Bill in the Queen’s Speech. Wild animals should not be made to suffer in British circuses any longer.”

ADI has led the campaign to stop the suffering of animals in circuses in the UK and around the world. Earlier this month, ADI President Jan Creamer was joined by former MEP Stanley Johnson and social change campaigner Peter Tatchell to deliver a letter signed by 75 celebrities and politicians to Downing Street, urging the Government to bring forward the legislation. David Cameron reaffirmed his intention to ban wild animal circus acts to the ADI deputation, however it is doubtful that the ban will make it on to the statute books before a possible General Election in May 2015, unless the Bill is included in the Queen’s Speech in June.

In June 2011, the Government pledged a ban “at the earliest opportunity” after a Backbench Business Committee debate voted unanimously to ban wild animals from circuses. The debate followed a public outcry sparked by ADI’s shocking revelations of the brutal violence and constant chaining of Anne the elephant at the Bobby Roberts Super Circus, whose owner was found guilty of offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

The delay in bringing in the ban has seen the return of big cats to Britain. A lion and tiger act is now performing with Jolly’s Circus, one of only two circuses still performing with wild animals in Britain. The act is presented by Thomas Chipperfield, a relative of the notorious Mary Chipperfield, who was prosecuted for animal cruelty following an ADI exposé in the late 1990s.

Public support for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses has been consistently high for 15 years. A Defra consultation in 2010 showed a resounding 94.5% of the British public support a ban on wild animal acts. In 2011, 63% of MPs agreed that the Government should ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

27 countries worldwide have placed national restrictions on the use of animals in circuses, and over 200 local authorities in the UK have bans on the use of animals in circuses in place.


Contact: Fleur Dawes 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548

Images of animals in UK circuses are available on request

Image of David Cameron discussing the ban on wild animals in circuses with Stanley Johnson and Peter Tatchell

EDM 1301

Letter to Prime Minister David Cameron and full list of 75 signatories

ADI exposé of Anne the elephant at Bobby Roberts Super Circus

Circus bans worldwide

History of the ADI campaign to end wild animal circuses in the UK

Questions & Answers: Wild Animals in UK Circuses

Twitter #circusban

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, and educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

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