Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 302

Animal advocates appalled by Government back-track on wild animal circus ban

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 giugno 2014

circus-animalsLeading animal protection groups The Born Free Foundation and The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) have expressed surprise and frustration that a Bill promised by the Government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses was notably absent in today’s Queen’s Speech. This, the groups say, means that their hope of Government fulfilling its repeated commitment to ban the cruel and unethical use of animals such as lions, tigers and elephants in circuses in England before the end of 2015 is all but gone. The move has been branded “at best, a missed opportunity; at worst, a betrayal of the public and animals” by the groups, who are now demanding answers from Government department, Defra.
The campaign to end the use of wild animals in circuses – a practice which is already illegal in a number of countries around the world – has been running for many years in tandem with the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association. Following significant stalling by Government, the mood changed to one of optimism when the Minister finally made the commitment in March 2012 to introduce a ban in England before the end of next year. However, in recent days, rumours began to emerge that the ban had been shelved until “after the General Election”; something which appears to have been borne out since there was no mention of the proposed legislative measures in this morning’s Queen’s Speech.Virginia McKenna OBE, cofounder of the Born Free Foundation said today: “Once again the Government has apparently betrayed the helpless wild animals in circuses. Whereas a year or so may be a short time for those decision-makers in Government, it will seem an eternity to animals in their beastwagons and in the ring”.Liz Tyson, Director of CAPS added: “This was the Government’s final clear opportunity to come good on its promise to do what the public want, what experts want and, most importantly, what is right for the animals. The likelihood of a ban now being introduced before the election next May is extremely slim. There have been claims that senior officials have suggested a ban will be introduced after the General Election but, of course, the current Government cannot possibly bind future administrations so such claims amount to little more than hot air”.The groups said that they would be pursuing the issue with senior officials and added that, with enough support, there may still be an opportunity to convince the Government to go ahead with the ban as promised, as there is room for additional legislation to be introduced even if it is not mentioned in the speech.

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