“Lets be honest, the UK Government have done nothing to instil public confidence into their ability to make sure wild animals are protected! Hence, this is another person not getting their vote! They have done nothing but lie about their real intentions on the circus bill & I just hate those who try to pull the wool over your eyes!! Countries who hardly have any animal welfare rules have managed to implement the bill, so why not the UK?? Like I said in a previous post, what are they scared of??? They are pathetic & I’m ashamed to be English!!”
Recommendations made to Government that circus ban should not remove a single wild animal from the big top
A select committee report released this morning following the consideration of the UK Government’s proposals to ban the use of all wild animals in circuses has been strongly criticised by animal protection campaigners for its recommendation that any initial prohibition should be limited to big cats and elephants only.
CAPS and campaign partners point out that, given that there are no elephants or big cats in English circuses, any ban introduced along these lines would fail to protect any of the wild animals still being used in big tops around the country. A spokesperson said “in effect, a ban introduced on the basis that has now been recommended would be absolutely meaningless for those wild animals that the Government has promised to protect”.
A draft bill was published in April and, in line with the long-term discourse on the use of wild animals in circuses, the calls made in various parliamentary debates and the results of the 2010 public consultation on the matter, the Government proposed to seek a full ban on the use of all wild animals in circuses. This news was welcomed by campaigners who have worked for many years to secure this new law.
However, in today’s report to Government following scrutiny of this draft bill, the EFRA Select Committee suggests that public concern is limited to species of wild animal such as elephants and big cats, but not to animals such as snakes, racoons and zebras. The report goes on to make the claim that public concern on the issue stems from the mistaken perception “that large numbers of elephants and big cats are still used in performances in travelling circuses”. However there is no evidence to support this assertion which, according to campaigners, “appears to be little more than ill-informed conjecture”.
“To make this suggestion is to ignore the calls of the 94% of respondents to the 2010 public consultation on this matter, to dismiss the reams of evidence and opinion published in Hansard, and to overlook the outcome of dozens of hours of parliamentary debate, dating back to 2005 and earlier; all of which clearly demonstrate the overwhelming support for a ban on all wild animals in travelling circuses. We request in the strongest possible terms that the Government rejects this recommendation and continues with its commendable plan to ban the use of all wild animals in circuses in England, as promised.”
CAPS Director, Liz Tyson, added:
“If the EFRA committee’s recommendation is followed, not one of the animals currently performing in circus shows in the England will be covered by the ban. It is vital that we make our voices heard on this important issue; not just for the 21 wild animals who are currently being exploited in English circuses, but for the future generations of animals that will be subjected to the same for years to come if we do not secure an all-species ban”.
The 2009/2010 consultation on the use of wild animals in circuses asked the question of respondents: “Do you think that there are any species of wild animal which it is acceptable to use in travelling circuses?” and 95.5% of respondents answered “No”.
CAPS is calling on supporters to take urgent action by writing to the Defra minister, Lord de Mauley, to ask him to reject any suggestion of narrowing the scope of the ban and deliver on his promise that “this legislation will end the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in this country. It will also help ensure that our international reputation as a leading protector of animals continues into a new global era”.
Please don’t delay – this quick and easy action will help to demonstrate that the public want a ban on the exploitation of all wild animals in travelling circuses.
Email Lord de Mauley: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Read the full EFRA committee report: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news/wac-report/