RSPCA brand the omission of ban of circus animals in Queen’s Speech ‘unacceptable’

The Society, alongside other animal welfare organisations The Born Free Foundation, British Veterinary Association and Captive Animals’ Protection, has long been pushing for a complete ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and it had been hoped the draft bill would be given royal assent today. (Wednesday)

Due to their dependency on regular travel, circuses cannot provide the sizeable and complex living conditions that are required for animals traditionally used in this way such as lions, zebras and tigers.

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “The impact of circuses on animal welfare is serious and potentially debilitating for each and every animal involved. Animals are forced to endure the constant travel, cramped temporary cages, and noisy conditions of a circus.

“It is not a quaint tradition that harks back to Victorian times. It is an archaic and heartless practice which must be stopped completely. The lack of introduction of a complete ban is itself outdated.

“The British public have a better understanding of animal welfare than the Government are giving them credit for. Ninety-four per cent of people who responded to a Government consultation on this subject wanted a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

“The recognition of animals as sentient beings is now widely accepted across the world and legislation is slowly catching up – except for here in the UK and it is unacceptable.

“Despite this setback we will continue to push for the ban to be implemented by the Government because it is a practice that needs to be abolished.”



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