Travelling Circuses Face Wild Animal Ban

1 May 2019, 10:37 | Updated: 1 May 2019, 10:39

The Wild Animals in Circuses Bill will ban wild animals from travelling circuses.
The Wild Animals in Circuses Bill will ban wild animals from travelling circuses. Picture: PA

Travelling circuses are to be permanently banned from using wild animals in their shows in England.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove's made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the use of reindeer, zebras, camels and others has "no place in modern society".

It follows a government commitment last year to introduce a ban by the time interim regulations expire in January 2020.

The Wild Animals in Circuses Bill means that circus operators in England will no longer be able to use wild animals as part of a travelling circus.

Some of the animals which currently perform in circuses include reindeer, zebras and camels.

Mr Gove said: "Travelling circuses are no place for wild animals in the 21st century and I am pleased that this legislation will put an end to this practice for good.

"Today's announcement follows other measures we have taken to strengthen our position as a world leader on animal protection.

"This includes our ban on ivory sales to protect elephants, and delivering Finn's Law to strengthen the protection of service animals."

Animal welfare charities which have been campaigning for a ban welcomed the news.

Dr Chris Draper, Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity at the Born Free Foundation said: "The use of wild animals in travelling circuses is outdated and unpopular, and this legislation will bring England into line with a long and increasing list of countries which have banned this practice.

"Born Free and its supporters have campaigned for a long time for this outcome and we look forward to the swift progress of the Bill through Parliament."