The Minister stated that, “We concluded some time ago that we are minded to ban wild animals from travelling circuses on the back of the consultation (that we had) given weight of public opinion. With the evidence we have, we feel it is inappropriate for wild animals to be performing tricks in travelling circuses… we’re very clearly saying as a Labour government that we will legislate against wild animals performing in travelling circuses…ADI have been lobbying for this some considerable time. I hope it is welcome news, we certainly think it is.”
ADI has campaigned tirelessly for a total ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses since mounting its first circus investigation in 1992 and launch of the Stop Circus Suffering campaign. Eighteen years on and ADI has secured a major milestone in its campaign objective of securing a global ban by gaining the overwhelming support of the UK public and also the commitment of Defra Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, to act accordingly.
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, for 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 “ADI welcomes Minister Fitzpatrick’
ADI’s ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ 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 Because 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.
MEDIA TOOLKIT AVAILABLE
Photographs of ADI representative meeting Minister Jim Fitzpatrick
Video footage of the Minister’s comments
Copies of ADI DEFRA Circus Consultation document
Undercover photographs and video footage of elephants at The Great British Circus 2009
Access to ADI spokespeople and celebrity campaigners
*An initial summary of responses to the consultation is online at http://www.defra.gov.uk/
A further 2,300 postcards from ADI supporters have been received by Defra but these have not been included at the current date.
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.
· ADI has succeeded through precision-led undercover investigations and scientific reports, to secure greater legal protection for animals.
· ADI lobbies on issues such as animals in entertainment;
· ADI is changing humanity’s perspective on the way we view the other species that share our planet.
· ADI organises international animal rescues of animals in distress.
· ADI is opposed to violence or intimidation whether directed at humans or other animals.
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