The RSPCA has said it is very relieved the Government has finally confirmed it will ban ALL wild animals in circuses.
There was a fear that only big cats and elephants would be banned [PA]
There were fears that only big cats and elephants would be banned from travelling circuses after MPs’ recommendations early this summer. But now there has been confirmation from Government ministers that a ban on the use of all wild animals in circuses in England will go ahead by the end of 2015.
Many leading charities and animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA, Born Free Foundation, the British Veterinary Association and the Captive Animals’ Protection Society have campaigned together against wild animals being used in circuses.
The RSPCA has been particularly outspoken, warning that wild animals are likely to suffer from being dragged around the country from pillar to post just so audiences can be “entertained. RSPCA senior scientist Dr Ros Clubb said: “It is a great relief that the Government has listened to reason and we are back on track to getting a proper ban on the use of all wild animals in circuses.
“As the Government has pointed out, there is absolutely no basis for protecting only a select group of wild animals, and no desire to do so from MPs, the public or animal welfare groups. No wild animals belong in a circus. “Now we need to leap over the final hurdle and get a definite date for this legislation to be passed and end this outdated practise.
“Animals have already been waiting too long and another two years is still a long time to endure the constant travel, cramped temporary cages, and noisy conditions of a circus. The licensing scheme that is running in the meantime is not good enough to safeguard the welfare of these majestic animals.” The RSPCA and Born Free Foundation have offered to help Defra and circus owners re-home the wild animals currently being used in circuses.
In July, the animal welfare groups had expressed concern over a report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) select committee which recommended that any prohibition on animal use in circuses should be limited to a ban on big cats and elephants, while continuing to allow species such as zebras and snakes to be used. Defra minister Lord de Mauley has confirmed suggestions to limit the scope of the ban has been rejected by the Government and that the ban will apply to all wild animals when introduced.
A spokeswoman for the animal welfare organisation added: “We are relieved to hear that the Government has firmly rejected the opinion of the EFRA Committee on this matter, and that circuses will be prevented from using wild animals in performances from the end of 2015.
The decision reflects the strong public and Parliamentary will on this issue; a travelling circus is no place for any wild animal. We will continue to work to ensure the best possible long-term outcome for the animals from the time that the ban is implemented.”
The Government’s reponse in full can be found at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmenvfru/746/74602.htm
For more information about the campaign please visit: http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/wildlife/bigstop/takeaction
Source – Express.co.uk