The use of wild animals in circuses is set to be outlawed after the public consultation on this issue found overwhelming support for a total ban. Some 13,000 people responded to the consultation paper and 94% of them said they wanted a total ban.
Animal welfare minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "I agree with the clear view emerging from the huge response to the government's consultation that keeping wild animals to perform in travelling circuses is no longer acceptable.'This is fantastic news and the DSWT would like to say a big thank you to each and every one of our supporters who answered our many calls to take part in the consultation. Our voices have been heard and with such a weight of public opinion - we can now look forward to an end in this cruel treatment of wild animals.
Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick said, 'We are delighted by the response to this consultation and hope the British government will finally and quickly act on it, by taking the steps needed to impose a ban on the inherently cruel use of wild animals in circuses. There is no educational or entertainment value is watching an elephant, lion or any other wild animal perform tricks on command. We are so grateful to the public at large for taking the time to make their views on this matter known and to such positive effect. The time has come for the cruel use of wild animals in circuses to be left in the past.'
The outcome of the defra consultation comes in the same week that UN body CITES voted to reject calls from Tanzania and Zambia for the downlisting of the protected status of their elephant populations, which would have allowed them to sell ivory. So this week has proved a rare double success for wildlife and specifically elephants. You can read about the CITES vote here