Government’s so-called public consultation on wild animals in circuses

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ADI has decided that Defra’s so-called public consultation on regulations on animals in circuses is manipulative in the extreme and designed to give the Government the answer they want, with no choice of options.

Defra did not like the answer they got on their genuine consultation (finalised in 2010) where nearly 95% of the public voted for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

They have now put together a set of questions that ensures they get the answer they want, which is to regulate rather than end the suffering of these animals.

The animal circus business has been shown, repeatedly, to tolerate violence towards animals and the conditions that the animals are forced to endure would not be tolerated in the worst zoo.

We cannot endorse measures which we do not believe will protect animals. It is a national disgrace, when other countries are taking decisive action on this issue. We urge our supporters to boycott this farce of a consultation.

“Let me remind you what it’s like to be a circus animal, nothing but abuse, beaten into submission to perform degrading tricks for the viewing public…How could anyone condone this treatment?? I am ashamed of our Government for not listening to the public’s opinion & making an out right ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, as other Countries have! How much more evidence or suffering do they need to see? “

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Defra announced: “The Government will seek to introduce primary legislation at the earliest opportunity to achieve its much-stated desire to ban travelling circuses from using performing wild animals.” Animal Welfare Minister Lord Taylor said:“There is no place in today’s society for wild animals being used for our entertainment in travelling circuses. Wild animals deserve our respect.”

Mark Pritchard MP who led last year’s Commons debate: “If the government ignore the will of Parliament they will be moving towards a constitutional crisis as well as once again confirming their reputation as being against animal welfare legislation”

Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, responding to the Defra consultation on licensing wild animals in circuses said: 
”Last year Parliament voted unanimously for a ban on wild animals in circuses with the backing of 95% of the public. Defra Ministers showed how out of touch with the public they are and hid behind spurious threats of legal challenges in the EU as an excuse for doing nothing. 

“Today, Ministers announce a licensing regime until a ban comes in 2015, saying there is no room on the parliamentary timetable for new legislation. Yet only yesterday they introduced a water bill into the house, which will be passed in 2 days. There is nothing to stop them doing the same thing for circus animals, but it’s clear that animal welfare is way down the list of this Government’s priorities.”

Jan Creamer Chief Executive of Animal Defenders International (ADI) said: “It is almost unprecedented for Government to be so cavalier in its disregard for public and Parliamentary opinion. There is absolutely overwhelming evidence of circus suffering and not a single animal welfare body that will defend this industry. This is utter betrayal. To suggest that the public bears the extra cost of an inspection and licensing regime, and then follow up with a ban, is ludicrous.”

Link:-Animal Denders International

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Born Free calls on Government to Accelerate the Final Curtain

The Government’s statement on the Defra website declares that “wild animals will no longer be made to perform in travelling circuses” and that it is seeking “to introduce primary legislation at the earliest opportunity”.

On the surface this is good news.

However, despite Animal Welfare Minister Lord Taylor stating (01/03/2012) that “There is no place in today’s society for wild animals being used for our entertainment in travelling circuses”, there will clearly have to be a place for them in travelling circuses for some considerable time to come because the Government claims measures to bring about a ban will require Primary Legislation – a process they predict could take several more years.

So, in the meantime, according to the Government, wild animals in circuses will benefit from a Circus Licensing Scheme to ensure “decent conditions”.

What are we to make of all this?

Firstly, the Government’s protestations that it has supported the notion of a ban have a rather hollow ring.  Animal protection organisations such as the Born Free Foundation, the Captive Animals’ Protection Society and the RSPCA have, since 2005, consistently called on the previous administration, and now the Coalition Government, to bring about a ban. Those requests have largely been side-lined until now.

via Government to Ban the Use of Wild Animals in Circuses: Right Decision – Wrong Timetable.

Categories: Big Cats Campaign News,

Great British Circus tiger (c)  BFF

Press reports circulating today indicate that the Government are preparing to announce a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. The Born Free Foundation, together with a number of other animal protection organisations including the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, the RSPCA, the British Veterinary Association and ADI have long campaigned for such a ban which has overwhelming public and Parliamentary backing.

However, Will Travers, CEO of Born Free, commented: “We are being very cautious. Until we see the details of the proposed ban and the timetable for its implementation we are only raising half a glass. The Government still seem determined to press ahead with a licensing system, claiming that this will be a quick, temporary measure to safeguard the welfare of wild animals in circuses. From what I have seen they suggest that a full ban will not come into force for two or more years due to Parliamentary time constraints. That means wild animals in travelling circuses could be on the road until 2014 or later. If that’s the case then we will be seeking the widest possible support for an accelerated process to make sure the ban is introduced at the earliest opportunity to end, once and for all, this unacceptable form of animal exploitation.”

The issue of banning the use of certain species of wild animals in travelling circuses was first promulgated by the then Minister Ben Bradshaw MP in 2006. The fact that it may happen in 2014 or 2015 is not something of which our elected representatives should be proud.

Leading Parliamentary campaigner Mark Pritchard MP is also reported to be sceptical: “Any licensing scheme should also guarantee that no new wild animals are imported into UK circuses. Quite frankly I don’t believe the Government when they say they will move towards a ban. I don’t trust Number 10 on the issue. I will believe it when I see it. But I am not holding my breath. Time will tell if I am right.”

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