Tell the UK Government to Keep Circus Promise

  • By: Judith B.
  • Target: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK

Back at the beginning of 2012, the UK government promised to introduce a ban on the use of “wild” animals in circuses, meaning typical zoo animals such as tigers, zebras and lions.

This seemed to be excellent news. Keeping such animals in the appallingly cramped conditions of a circus and forcing them to perform unnatural tricks is nothing more than abuse. It is debatable whether using long-domesticated animals is acceptable either, but at least dogs and horses are adapted to living in close contact with humans.

Despite the promise, a ban has not been introduced and DEFRA is still refusing to produce a timetable for the process. While many people in the UK might think the use of exotic animals in circuses was banned a long time ago, it is actually still legal and absolutely nothing has yet been done to get the ban in place.

Tell the UK coalition government to take immediate action on circus animals and not to break yet another promise.

We the undersigned ask that you immediately take steps to introduce legislation banning the use of exotic animals in travelling circuses. The coalition government made a promise to implement such a ban nearly a year, and so far no action has been taken.

The British public care more about animal welfare than seeing maltreated animals performing pointless tricks. In fact, large numbers of people think this old fashioned cruelty was banned a long time ago. People go to circuses to see skilled acrobats, not sad tigers. Today’s circuses often focus entirely on human-orientated acts anyway.

However, there are still a few that are, perfectly legally, using performing exotic animals, and this should not be the case.  It is time to move the UK into the 21st century and put an end to abusive Victorian-era style “entertainment”. The 37 exotic animals that the RSPCA notes are still being used in circuses must be retired to facilities such as safari parks that can provide appropriate care and an adequate environment.

This foot dragging for no apparent reason is not acceptable. We ask that you announce a proper timetable for the ban and not break yet another promise to the British people.

Thank you for your attention.

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