The UK Government are set to crack down on the use of animals in circuses, after over a decade of promises from both the Labour and Conservative governments and despite the ongoing cruelty and mistreatment of animals in circuses.
Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International (ADI) said: “Animal Defenders International welcomes the reports of government plans to finally put the ban on wild animals in circuses before Parliament. However, we remain cautious after so many broken promises over the years. “When parliamentary time allows” has often, it seems, been code for “it’s not going to happen”, yet the public wants an end to circus suffering and ADI’s evidence has repeatedly shown that circus animals urgently need government action.”
The amount of campaigns against animals in circuses prompted the Labour Government to first promise the ban after the exposure of the abuse of three elephants at the Great British Circus in 2009 which was exposed by ADI and following this a public consultation was launched by Defra.
Other cases exposed by ADI include the mistreatment and abuse of Anne the elephant at Bobby Roberts Super Circus in 2011, which led to the conviction of Bobby Roberts. Anne now lives in at Longleat Safari.
In the 2015 general election 98 per cent of MPs used the promise of banning wild animals from circuses in their manifestos; however, until now there has been no action taken to implement such promises.
More than 40 countries around the world have introduced a ban on circus animals, and opinion polls show that the UK public remains consistently opposed to wild animal acts with a higher proportion against all animal acts.
Ireland have introduced regulations that prohibit wild animal acts that came into effect on January 1, 2018; in December Scotland voted in favour of legislation to ban wild animal acts and Wales have indicated it will work with Defra and Devolved Administrations on the matter.