Animal activists across the world via the Web are rushing to report the UK government will ban animals in circuses following on from a report in the Daily Express, which says
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has been persuaded that forcing elephants, tigers, lions, camels and other exotic creatures to perform tricks for audiences is wrong in modern Britain. She is also said to believe that making them travel thousands of miles every year in cramped lorry trailers known as “beast wagons” is harmful to their welfare. While Animal Welfare Minister Jim Paice told MPs last month that a new policy was “close to completion”, his boss Ms Spelman is now “minded” to introduce the ban, say senior sources. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also favours such a move. Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are working on the final details to ensure there is no conflict with European legislation. An announcement is expected within weeks.
Of course, I am not an insider at the Daily Express. Nor do I have access to the contacts and the information that they claim. In as much as the minister concerned is “minded” about animals in circuses, I am as “minded” about reading about it in the Daily Express. Nevertheless, being “minded” is certainly hopeful that something which the previous Labour government could have done will be now implemented by the present ConDem coalition government. But I urge caution before animal activists rush to proclaim victory that animals in circuses will be banned. Banning animals in circuses is one example of the proverbial low hanging fruit in animal welfare that any government could do. Particularly as public opinion clearly wants a ban. As the Daily Express reported “Government consultation with the circus industry, welfare groups and the public, published in March last year, found that 94 per cent of more than 10,000 responses wanted a ban on wild animals in circuses.” But wait and see if and what the government announces before popping the bubbly.
Meanwhile, Animal Defenders International is to be congratulated for their accomplish in recording undercover, publicising and now rescuing Anne from Bobby Robert Super Circus and arranging for her to live out the rest of her life at Longleat Safari Park.