Nia Griffith MP has called on the government to stop the delaying tactics and get on with introducing a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.
Speaking up in a debate in the House of Commons, she explained that the Government could easily introduce the ban under section 12 of the Animal Welfare Act of 2006. This is what the previous Labour Government had been planning to do, after an extensive consultation exercise which was concluded in March 2010 had shown that 94% of the respondents were in favour of a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.
Nia Griffith said
“Unfortunately, since the Tory-LibDem coalition came into power, there has been a lot of shilly-shallying on this issue, with some indications from Tory Ministers in favour of a ban followed by pressure from the Prime Minister NOT to introduce a ban. The latest smokescreen is to say that the EU will not allow it, when, in fact, the EU commissioner has specifically clarified that the issue of wild animals in circuses is the responsibility of each member country of the EU. With the public now overwhelmingly in favour of a ban, many councils already prohibiting circuses on their land and support from MPs across the political divide, the Government should just get on with it. Being towed around in cramped cages and made to perform is no way to treat wild animals; it is medieval; the public expect better than that now.”
Note – On Thursday 23rd June, backbench MPs used one of slots reserved for their choice of business, to debate a motion calling on the Government to use the 2006 Animal Welfare Act to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. The motion was passed.