Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Royal Assent for Animal Welfare Act

Posted: 8 November 2006

Animal Defenders International (ADI) welcomes the ‘bringing up to date’ of animal welfare legislation as the Animal Welfare Act, the most fundamental piece of animal welfare legislation, today received Royal Assent.

Jan Creamer, ADI chief executive said: “This is the most important piece of animal welfare legislation for nearly a century and will help to improve the lives of animals. The Act recognises that if the need of the animal is not met the animal will suffer. This and other issues raised over the past decade by ADI including leniency in sentencing of those convicted of cruelty as highlighted in our prosecution of Mary Chipperfield and the use of animals in circuses have also been addressed.”

Defra Minister Ben Bradshaw has made a commitment to ban the use of certain animals from circuses. ADI is part of the Circus Working Group (CWG) set up by the Minister with a view to introducing secondary legislation on the use of animals in circuses in 2007. The CWG will start to look at scientific evidence in November. ADI believes the evidence will show that a comprehensive ban on the use of animals in circuses is the best way of addressing the welfare needs of animals.

The Act will come into effect on 6 April 2007 and brings together more that 20 pieces of animal welfare legislation.

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  • Both the UK and Scottish Parliaments have now committed to ban certain wild animals in travelling circuses. Approximately 200 local authorities in the UK have banned all animal acts on council land.
  • In Europe Austria has banned wild animals in circuses and 28 Croatian towns have followed suit. In Greece bans have followed in the towns of Malia, Thessaloniki and Patras. A six-year campaign by ADI secured new regulations in over 160 countries concerning the cross border movements of endangered species with animal circuses.
  • ADI has circus campaigns currently running in Europe in the UK, Ireland, Norway, Portugal and Greece; in the USA and in Chile, South America, with launches planned in Peru, Columbia and Bolivia. ADI’s evidence has been used in Costa Rica and Singapore to secure national prohibitions on the use of wild animals in circuses.
  • ADI has rescued and relocated a number of circus animals including: lions, tigers, horses, dogs, a python and chimpanzees.

© Animal Defenders International 2019