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Is a Ban on the Use of Wild Animals in Circuses in England Imminent?

Published 04/15/10
By Born Free Foundation News Release, March 6, 2010

Our Animal Loving Public has spoken — and the Government is listening. Today Jim Fitzpatrick, The Animal Welfare Minister, announced that the huge response to the Government’s consultation on keeping wild animals to perform in circuses clearly indicated that this is no longer acceptable and he is ‘minded to pursue a ban on the use of these animals in circuses’.

Born Free Foundation has long campaigned for such a ban and has actively participated in the Government consultation process, believing firmly that a complete ban is the only humane and sensible approach. This view is shared by over 94% of those who responded.

Virginia McKenna OBE, Co-founder and Trustee of the Born Free Foundation welcomed this news,

“Finally, the days of seeing elephants, tigers and other exotic animals being carted round the country in small beast wagons and being made to perform undignified tricks could soon be over. The public has spoken loudly and clearly and are demanding a ban. It is vital that this process is now not derailed by the General election — implementing such a ban would be a positive news story for any political party and, as this recent public consultation clearly demonstrates, one that would be welcomed by the vast majority of constituents.”

While this decision would only impact on England, it is sincerely hoped that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow suit.

In a further indication that a ban is imminent, Fitzpatrick went on to say that,

“We also want to make sure that circus animals are well looked after once they stop performing ... and we will work with all concerned to secure a future for these animals”.

There are approximately 40 wild animals used in travelling circuses in the UK. A ban on wild animals would not prevent circuses from continuing to tour with their other acts; it would give the public the result they have wished for for many years and the government’s dedication to seeing a secure future for the animals affected represents a clear win-win situation for all concerned.

England would be following in the steps of several other countries that have already made the move to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. In Europe, both Austria and Croatia have bans on all wild animals in circuses along with Costa Rica, Singapore, Israel and Bolivia.

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For All Press Enquiries, Please Contact Born Free's Pr Department:
Shirley Galligan, PR Director T: 0207 792 9668 M: 07773 848352
Kate Chapman, PR Officer T: 01403 240170 M: 07920 195512

Notes to Editors:

About Born Free
The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.

Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. For more information about Born Free please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk

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