Circus animal legislation set to ignore public opinion

The Green Party has called on MPs to listen to the voices of their constituents this Thursday, when they have an opportunity to vote on a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and make the coalition act on this issue. Nearly 3 out of 4 British citizens favour a ban.

As MPs prepare to vote, ministers have tabled a counter-motion, which means MPs may only be able to vote for or against the Government motion, and not with the backbench call for a ban.

Caroline Allen, Green Party Spokesperson on Animals said, “These majestic animals do not belong on the road, living in inadequate enclosures, suffering from inappropriate, sometimes cruel, training techniques and performing routines that demean them and their audience.”

The government claimed that a ban would risk a legal challenge, but Greens argue that this is little more than an excuse, with no evidence forthcoming to back up the position. During a parliamentary debate on 8th June, Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MP highlighted that the government was given similar legal advice on banning the import of cat, dog and seal fur, yet when other governments challenged similar legal advice they found that they could implement bans.

Caroline Allen continued, “This is once again a case where legal advice should be challenged, ensuring that we ban this cruel practice once and for all. The government’s proposal to license and regulate instead of banning wild animals in circuses is clearly unworkable, given the transitory nature of circuses.

“Unfortunately, this decision is not out of step with the government line on animal welfare thus far. With question marks still remaining over the government’s position on the badger cull and its stated intention to call a vote on hunting with hounds, this is a worrying time for all of those who care about animal welfare.”

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