We're renewing our call to end wild animals in circuses
We mustn't let England fall behind on wild animal welfare, as the Republic of Ireland becomes the latest country to outlaw the use of wild animals in circuses.
We've urged the Westminster Government to deliver an immediate end to the practice in England, stating there is "no excuse" for wild animals to still be touring the country in a hugely inappropriate circus environment.
Action in Ireland successfully bans wild animals in circuses
The call follows the Republic of Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., signing regulations to introduce a ban on wild animals being used in circuses within the country. The regulations come into effect on 1 January, 2018.
The travelling nature of circuses – alongside cramped accommodation and forced training for animals – makes them an inappropriate setting for wild animals. We believe the welfare of wild animals based in such settings is likely to be heavily compromised.
This action by Ireland means the country has become the 25th in the world to ban all wild animals in circuses. A further 13 countries have taken more limited action – including banning some species, or all wild-caught animals.
Continued calls for a ban in England and Wales
We welcome ongoing work by the Westminster government to look at better regulations for performing animals in England. The Welsh government has been consulting on the regulation of 'Mobile Animal Exhibits'.
Ros Clubb, our senior scientific manager for captive wild animals said:
Wild animals do not belong in the circus - and it's great to see the Republic of Ireland becoming the latest country to ban this highly inappropriate practice.
We continue to push the Westminster Government to bring in its manifesto promise to ban the outdated practice of using wild animals in circuses in England as we believe these animals cannot be cared for adequately within the current level of regulations. Circuses touring with wild animals need to be finally consigned to the history books. In 2017, there's simply no excuse for it.
Ultimately, we also need regulations in England and Wales that are stringent enough to protect animals used in all sorts of performance, including mobile petting zoos.
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