Banning the use of wild animals in circuses
Email Campaign

I read your comments carefully and I would like to assure you that I share your commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare. The Government published the draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill on 16 April 2013. The draft Bill proposes to make it an offence for any circus operator to use a wild animal in performance or exhibition in a travelling circus in England.

I am informed that the House of Commons' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has subjected the Bill to pre-legislative scrutiny. This involved the Committee gathering evidence from experts and publishing a report about the draft Bill. Now that the Committee has published its report, the Government is considering its formal response. Once this has been published, the Government will be able to introduce a bill to Parliament as soon as legislative time allows.

To ensure that circus animals are protected in the meantime, anyone in England operating a travelling circus with wild animals must first apply for and receive a licence under the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012.The Regulations ensure that if a travelling circus continues to use wild animals before a ban can take effect, they will be subject to regular inspections to check compliance with strict licensing conditions and welfare standards.

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