Members of the British public as well as other interested organisations were invited to participate in a Defra Public Consultation exercise relating to the use of wild animals in circuses that ran for 12 weeks from 21st December 2009 - 15th March 2010*.
•94.5% believed a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses was the best option to achieve consistently better welfare standards for these animals.
•95.5% believed that there are no species of wild animal, which it is acceptable to use in travelling circuses.
•96% believed travelling circuses should be prevented from obtaining any further wild animals.
*Of the 10576 responses recorded*:
ADI Chief Executive, Jan Creamer, comments “I am delighted that the British public has responded so positively towards a ban. Our media campaign clearly demonstrated how all animals in travelling circuses are compromised by the mobile and temporary nature of the circus, with severe confinement inevitable and physical abuse commonplace. What’s more these animals have little or no legal protection, as there are no regulations to protect them under the Animal Welfare Act. A ban has to be the way forward.”
According to Jim Fitzpatrick, Animal Welfare Minister, “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. So, I am minded to pursue a ban on the use of these animals in circuses.”
ADI’s CIRCUS ANIMALS CAMPAIGN
•In 1998, ADI launched the most comprehensive ever expose of the use of animals in circuses and secured the first cruelty convictions of Mary Chipperfield, her husband Roger Cawley and their elephant trainer. Since then, ADI has sent field officers into circuses in the UK, Europe, South America and the USA.
•In 2009 Becaue of government inaction, the Great British Circus imported three elephants from Germany. An ADI investigation released undercover video footage detailing suffering and beatings of elephants. The video received widespread media coverage, and the government announced this public consultation.
ADI campaigned vigorously during the consultation, encouraging the public to participate.
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Animal Defenders International (ADI) is a major international force for animal protection, working at regional, national and international levels (from offices in London, San Francisco and Bogota) to protect the welfare of animals, and to conserve and protect both them and their environment.