Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Animal in Circuses: Regulation Not Banning

“Good regulations based on internationally accepted standards for animal care and transport are the most appropriate way to ensure high quality animal care while at the same time preserving the rich and rewarding classical circus art form for the benefit of circus families, their animals and current and future generations of Europeans.” H.S.H. Prince Rainier III of Monaco
In April 2013 the UK Government announced that it intended to ban circuses with wild animals by 2015.

Logically, any basis for a ban on animal keeping should be assessed on the available evidence that relates to the actual welfare of the animals contained within these enterprises.  Unfortunately, despite the government conceding that there is no such evidence, the UK government has given in to the propaganda of the animal-rights movement and wishes to ban wild animals in circuses on dubious 'ethical' grounds.  

 "...The 2007 Radford Report on circus animals concluded that there was insufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate that travelling circuses are unable to meet the welfare needs of wild animals presently being used in the United Kingdom. That position has not changed. Consequently, we are now looking at the means by which a ban could be introduced on ethical ground..." 

WRITTEN MINISTERIAL STATEMENT. Minister of State for Agriculture and Food (James Paice) 1 March 2012
I have been involved in the care of animals for over 40 years in zoos and wildlife parks both in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands and am currently an international zoological consultant and also a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.  Moreover, I am familiar with a number of trainers and owners of animals in various circuses in the UK and Europe.

It has always been my contention that circuses with animals should have regulation of their care and handling of animals as is the case in many European countries which now includes the United Kingdom since 2012.

Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012