midiamimesUK wild animal circus ban on hold?

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Circus Tiger, United Kingdom (Photo: Born Free Foundation)UK-based ENDCAP members, the Born Free Foundation and the Captive Animals’ Protection Society have today expressed their shock at indications from the UK Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, of a back-track on the promised ban on wild animals in travelling circuses in England.
 
Contrary to repeated assertions that the ban is still a priority for Government by both the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Minister responsible for the issue, Mr. Clegg wrote in a letter to a constituent that he “understand[s] why it was felt that other policy issues had to take priority for the final parliamentary session”. This, say campaigners, suggests that there has been a formal decision taken to shelve the ban until after the General Election; something which other officials had promised would not happen.
 
This news comes just days before UK Member of Parliament, Jim Fitzpatrick brings forward his Private Members Bill to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. Whilst Private Members Bills (proposed legislation put forward by backbench MPs) very rarely become law, campaigners say that this initiative now represents the best chance of getting the long overdue ban introduced.
 
Said Liz Tyson, Director of CAPS: “We have heard time and time again that the Government is still committed to introducing the ban before the next general election but this most recent communication from Nick Clegg appears to tell a different story. We are urging anyone concerned about the continued use of wild animals in circuses in this country to take urgent action and ask their MP to support Jim Fitzpatrick’s Bill, which will have its second reading in Westminster on Friday 17th October”.
 
Said Chris Draper, Programmes Manager for Captive Wild Animals, on UK issues, at the Born Free Foundation: “We have been concerned for some time that the Government does not intend to fulfil its promise to ban wild animals in circuses, and this latest indication does little to settle our fears. We are in a bizarre situation where the public and Parliamentarians have been united in favour of a ban for some time, but our elected Government continues to stall. And all the while, wild animals such as tigers and zebras continue to be hauled around England. We are calling on the Government to make good on their promise and take action now to end this outdated practice.”
 
UK members of the public can write to their MPs by visiting writetothem.com.
 
More about animals in circuses
 
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Author: ENDCAP