“Seriously, these idiots blocking the ban need to go undercover to see the real truth! What elephant in the wild would stand on its head or lion jump through fire…FFS…Watch the video below…if you love your pets, would you let them be treated this way??? There is no difference, all animals are sentient, they feel most emotions humans do; yet they are treated like inanimate objects. their only use is to perform for entertainment, to earn money for their captors!!”
By Damian Carrington Friday 5 December 2014 14.46 GMT
UK lags behind Bolivia and Bosnia in banning the use of wild animals, such as lions, tigers, zebras and camels, in travelling circuses
‘The days of transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people are long gone … Britain should join the 21st century.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
A new law to ban the use of wild animals in circuses is being repeatedly blocked by a trio of Tory backbenchers, despite the personal support of David Cameron, the government, Labour and over 90% of the British public.
The bill was blocked for the seventh time on Friday afternoon, a move its supporters called a “travesty” and an “outrage”. Dozens of lions, tigers, zebras and camels are still used in travelling circuses and in 2012 the government pledged to outlaw what Cameron called the “outdated practice”. But despitepublishing the draft law in 2013, it has since failed to pass it.
Former environment minister Jim Fitzpatrick, a Labour MP, took the government’s bill and presented it as a private members bill, with support from MPs from all main parties. But it has been repeatedly blocked by circus-supporter Andrew Rosindell, along with Christopher Chope and Philip Davies, all Conservative MPs.
“It is very much a matter of a tiny number of Tory backwoodsmen preventing this from happening,” Fitzpatrick told the Guardian. “It is frustrating, but we are keeping the issue alive – it won’t go away.”
“The days of transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people are long gone,” he said, noting that many nations, from Bosnia to Bolivia, already have bans and that safari parks and zoos provided alternatives. “We think Britain should join the 21st century.”
“For those that think animals are trained with loving hands…WATCH THIS…then tell me; do you really think they enjoy this life????
Irrespective of when this undercover video was taken, the principles for any animals still in circuses are the same; fear. neglect, torment & ridicule!!”
(Uploaded on 8 Dec 2008
The Truth About The Treatment of Animals In Circuses Filmed by Animal Defenders International, this video lifts the lid on the use and abuse of animals in entertainment. • the violence used to train and control the animals • the small cages, temporary pens, and chains the animals live and die in • the long journeys • the unnatural conditions • the animals driven out of their minds by boredom and deprivation)
“It is a travesty that the actions of just three MPs are preventing legislation to end animal suffering from being passed,” said Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International. In April, Cameron told ADI: “Yes, we are going to do it.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the government bill would be passed “when parliamentary time allows”. However, the current parliamentary programme has the smallest number of bills for 20 years. Fitzpatrick said there clearly was time and he had “no idea” why ministers will not fulfil their pledge.
The British Veterinary Association backs the ban, stating: “The welfare needs of wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus, in terms of housing or being able to express normal behaviour.” The RSPCA said: “Cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are often unavoidable realities for the animals.”
But Rosindell, who has blocked the bill twice said: “The circus is a Great British institution, which has proved that it has the high standards of welfare which are rightly expected of it, and I strongly believe that it deserves to be defended against the propaganda and exaggerations.”
He added: “None have been taken from their natural habitat; all are from several generations of animals born in captivity. I believe it would be much more cruel to remove them from the life they have always known in living and performing with their loving owners in the environment they are accustomed to.”
Creamer said: “By blocking the bill they are defying not only the wishes of their own party and their constituents, but also the British public and Parliament. There is also clearly time to pass a ban and the government needs to act now.” A 2010 government consultation found 94% of the British public supported a ban on wild animal acts.
Maria Eagle, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said: “The British public will be outraged that, when given the opportunity, a determined group of Tories have repeatedly dug their heels in. The next Labour government will ban wild animals in circuses.”
Fitzpatrick said: “I think a ban on wild animals will come in sooner rather than later, but I have severe reservations about whether we get it in before the election next May.”