End in sight for Wild Animals in Circuses

(BVA Release) The Government announced today that it will introduce primary legislation to ban travelling circuses from using performing wild animals.

In the meantime, owners of travelling circuses will be required to meet tough new licensing standards, following the publication of the Government’s consultation on a circus licensing scheme.

Commenting BVA President, Carl Padgett, said:

“We welcome the announcement that the Government has acknowledged that there is no place in today’s society for wild animals being used for our entertainment and proposes to ban the use of such animals on ethical grounds.

“The BVA has strongly supported a ban because we believe the welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within the environment of a travelling circus, especially in terms of accommodation and the ability to express normal behaviour. We have been adamant that a licensing scheme will not address these issues.

”The introduction of primary legislation is a slow process and we remain frustrated by this further delay. The welfare of these animals is emblematic of the way we treat all animals. We would urge the Government to do all it can to introduce a ban as quickly as possible to end the exploitation of these animals whose existence in the confines of a circus is solely to entertain people.

“Parliament has expressed its strong desire for a complete ban and the BVA will continue to work with MPs and other welfare organisations to keep up the pressure and ensure new legislation is brought in as soon as possible.”

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