Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Cameron urged to keep circus ban promise as Conservative MP blocks bill for eighth time

Posted: 9 January 2015

“Leading protector of animals” now trailing behind 30 countries

Animal Defenders International (ADI) is urging David Cameron to keep his promise to ban wild animals in circuses after a backbench bill to pass the legislation was blocked today by Conservative MP Christopher Chope for the eighth time.

The Government published draft legislation to prohibit wild animals in circuses two years ago, with Defra Minister stating that it will “help ensure that our international reputation as a leading protector of animals continues into a new global era.” Since then, the Bill has been allowed to gather dust, whilst the number of nations that have passed bans has risen to 30.

Britain has now fallen behind 17 European countries including Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and most recently The Netherlands which announced a ban before Christmas.

Across the UK, over 200 councils have taken action themselves to ban circuses from public land.

The Private Members’ Bill blocked today was tabled by former Defra minister Jim Fitzpatrick and seeks to pass the legislation before the General Election in May. It was launched with support from ADI and a cross party group of MPs, and is backed by major animal organisations.

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “Cameron has promised a ban but the animals are still waiting. It is a huge embarrassment for Britain that 30 other nations have taken action before us on this simple and popular measure. There is still time to stop wild animals suffering in circuses before the election and ADI urges Cameron to come good on his word.”

Claims that a ban would be introduced “when Parliamentary time allows” have been shown to be disingenuous and there is ample time for the legislation to pass through both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Tory MP Christopher Chope, who has now blocked the Bill on five occasions, has previously said in the House of Commons that this should “be a Government Bill, as it was promised by the Government”. With Conservative MPs continuing to block the Bill, the only way the ban can be implemented this year – as has been promised on multiple occasions – is for David Cameron to introduce the Bill in Government time, which would ensure it can reach the statute book before the General Election.

ADI has offered to help rehome Britain’s wild animals, having previously rescued 29 lions whilst assisting the Bolivian government enforce its animal circus ban. The historic rescue mission is the subject of the multi-award winning and critically acclaimed film LION ARK. The film shows changing attitudes about the treatment of animals in entertainment.

ADI is now working with authorities in Peru and Colombia to enforce their bans on wild animals in circuses and is currently caring for 30 lions, 12 monkeys and many other animals as part of Operation Spirit of Freedom.

The circus Bill will have another second reading on Friday 16 January.

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Contact: Fleur Dawes 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548

Lion Ark

Donate to ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom rescuing animals from Peru’s circuses:

National restrictions on performing animals in travelling circuses, either wild, all animals, or in a handful of cases specific species have been enacted in 30 countries – Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Malta, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, The Netherlands. Similar laws are under discussion in the UK, USA, Brazil and Chile.
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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