CAPS is delighted to report that, despite a government Select Committee making recommendations that any ban on the use of wild animals in circuses should be limited to protect just big cats and elephants, the Minister in charge of the proposed bill has vowed to continue with plans to ensure that all wild animals are spared a life of circus suffering.
The ill-conceived Select Committee report was published in July of this year and was met with strong criticism by animal protection advocates. The report suggested that animals such as raccoons, foxes, zebra and camels were of little concern and that only big cats and elephants should be covered by any ban. This was despite the fact that all policy discussions up until that point had explicitly referred to a ban on all wild animal species. Campaign groups were particularly critical of the EFRA committee’s recommendations given that, at the time the report was published, there were no big cats or elephants in English circuses. In effect, it would have meant that a ban introduced under these terms would have failed to remove a single animal from the big top. Since July, one circus has introduced a big cat performance to its show.
The CAPS team and dedicated supporters immediately took action following the release of the report to ensure that the hard work to end the use of wild animals in circuses was not derailed at such a late stage. Many supporters took action by emailing the minister directly to ensure that he was made aware of the strong support for an outright ban.
Said CAPS Director, Liz Tyson:
“We have worked hard since the disappointing report from the EFRA committee to ensure that the message was delivered loud and clear to Government that any ban must protect all wild animals. We are delighted that this has been recognised and that the Government was not swayed by the ill-informed advice from the EFRA committee. We look forward to seeing the ban introduced as soon as possible”.
CAPS and campaign partners from the Born Free Foundation, British Veterinary Association and the RSPCA have campaigned for many years to see an end to the use of wild animals in English circuses. In the coming days, the CAPS team will work with partners to consider the detailed content of today’s announcement and continue to work towards the ban. Areas of particular consideration will be ownership of animals after the implementation of the ban. Both Born Free and the RSPCA have offered to work with DEFRA and circuses to find a long-term solution for the animals currently used in the circus.
We couldn’t have come this far without your support. If you are not already, please become a member of CAPS today to ensure that our vital work for animals still suffering in captivity can continue.
The full government report can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmenvfru/746/74604.htm