The Wild Animals in Circuses (No.2) Bill has recently been introduced by the Government and is making its way through the House of Commons. It prohibits a circus operator from using any wild animal for performance or exhibition in a travelling circus in England by January 2020. At present, it stands to impact on two travelling circuses in England that operate with a small number of wild animals, including reindeer, zebra and camels, and are currently licensed under Defra’s interim Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012.
“I have been regularly contacted by constituents in recent years, concerned about the use of wild animals in circuses. The current interim regulations expire in January 2020 and the Government has consistently stated that they will not be renewed as legislation will be in place by then. I am very pleased, therefore, that the Bill has now been introduced which will bring to an end such outdated practices”.
The Bill is the latest in a number of Government measures to strengthen animal protection such as banning ivory sales, increasing maximum sentences for animal cruelty, banning third party sales of puppies, and delivering ‘Finn’s Law’ to strengthen the protection of service animals.