In the latest development regarding animal protection, the British government has finally decided to ban wild animals from performing in circuses in England within the next two years.
Last night, the government unveiled their plan to impose a ban on wild animals performing in English circuses. Scotland – among 40 other countries – also introduced a similar ban last year, while Wales is also planning to impose one soon.
The government has confirmed that the ban will be implemented by the start of 2020. The ban will come in effect in December 2019, after the expiry of current regulation. This is the first time that the British government has committed to a continuance for the ban.
The news of the ban comes just after a year of 250th anniversary of circuses in the United Kingdom. Animals rights activists have been long arguing that making animals perform in circuses along with making them travel long distances has severe adverse effects on their health.
Animal rights campaigners have gladly welcomed the news and have said it’s a huge relief.
A representative from Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), David Bowles, said: “The news that the Government has said there will be no wild animals in circuses in England after the 2019 season or earlier is very welcome and comes as a huge relief.”
“It’s been a long-time coming. This announcement gives circuses a clear two-year warning that no more licences will be issued and after that there will be a ban on wild animals in circuses,” he added.
Talking about the needs of wild animals, he said: ‘The complex needs of wild animals can never be adequately met in a circus environment and regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance are all unavoidable realities for the animals.’
There was a time when wild exotic animals were an innate part of UK’s circuses; people huddled to see animals like tigers. lions, elephants and bears performing. However, the opinions of people about circuses are changing ever since the case of Anne the Elephant.
Anne was Britain’s last circus elephant, who was beaten with a pitchfork by her groom. The incident with Anne has played an integral part in calling for a wild animals ban in circuses.
Now, only a few animals perform in the plummet number of Britain’s circuses.
According to RSPCA, there are only 19 animals that now perform in circuses, including three camels, two reindeers, a miniature zebu, a fox, a macaw, a raccoon and a few zebras.
About 95% of the public are in favor to put embargo on wild animals to perform in circuses, according to statistics provided by the government. However, the parliament had previously failed to make the legislation in England, despite David Cameroon’s efforts to introduce a bill that had massive support from MPs.
A spokesperson from Defra also made a statement on the ban and said:
“We remain absolute in our commitment to banning wild animals in circuses and intend to introduce the ban prior to the regulations expiring in January 2020, until, we are able to achieve this, we will impose the strictest possible standards to ensure the welfare needs of these animals are met.”