In 2009 the self proclaimed ‘Great British Circus’ began a tour using wild animals in its shows, including 2 Asian and 1 African elephant; it was the first time in 10 years elephants had been seen in a UK circus.
When the circus tour began there was quite rightly public uproar from educated observers aware that there is no entertainment or educational value in witnessing the earth’s largest land mammals performing tricks on command. Such inclusion of elephants and other wild animals, including Tigers and Lions is inherently cruel and inhumane, even before the training techniques are revealed – as undercover investigations demonstrated in August 2009.
At the time and throughout 2009, The DSWT and a plethora of other wildlife and welfare organisations condemned the return of wild animals to circus life and urged supporters to press their Member’s of Parliament and Defra (the government body responsible for policy and regulation effecting the environment, food an rural; affairs) for a change in the law to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.
Defra has responded by launching a new consultation on the use of wild animals in circuses and this time you can have your say by completing an online questionnaire. The consultation is seeking views on how best to safeguard the welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses. With a complete ban as one of the options being considered.
So, please take a few minutes out of your day to complete the online questionnaire, reached via the link below, and make clear that only a total ban on the use of wild animals in circuses can guarantee their welfare.
The consultation is running for a period of 12 weeks, ending on 15 March 2010, so please don’t miss this deadline to make your case and please urge friends and family to have their say too.
Please note that this consultation ONLY applies to the wild animals in travelling circuses in England.