Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle North, has joined forces with the RSPCA in Parliament to continue to campaign for ban on the use of wild animals circuses.
Repeated studies have shown that circus life is likely to have a significantly harmful impact on the welfare of many types of animals, making circuses a wholly unsuitable environment for them. An increasing number of countries across the world have now introduced bans on the use of wild animals in circuses, leaving the UK lagging behind on this important issue of animal welfare.
A total ban is long overdue, and opinion polls consistently show this move is supported by the public. With the existing regulations due to expire in January 2020, the Government has the opportunity to take action now to cement the UK’s position as a world leader in animal welfare legislation.
‘I am regularly contacted by a large number of constituents about the continued use of wild animals in circuses, and I have repeatedly lobbied the Government – over several years – to finally introduce a complete ban on this totally outdated practice.
‘As a nation of animal lovers, it is incredible that this is still happening in 21st century Britain, and the Government must finally fulfil its repeated promises to actually do something about it.’
Dr Ros Clubb, Senior Scientific Manager for Captive Wild Animals at the RSPCA, said:
‘Wild animals do not belong in the circus. We continue to push the Westminster Government to bring in its manifesto promise to ban the outdated practice of using wild animals in circuses in England as we believe these animals cannot be cared for adequately within the current level of regulations.
‘Circuses touring with wild animals need to be finally consigned to the history books. In 2018, there’s simply no excuse for it.’
Other countries which have already banned the use of wild animals in circuses include: Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa, Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, El Salvador, Estonia, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore and Slovenia.
The Welsh Government have also recently published plans to bring in legislation for ban, whilst Scotland has already passed legislation to this effect.