The British government has banned the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England.
Coming into effect in January 2020, the Wild Animals in Circuses (No. 2) Bill comes after more than 20 years of investigations and campaigns by animal protection organisations.
Given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. There have also been repeated exposés of physical abuse behind the scenes in circuses, after which the public turned its back on this cruel multi-million-pound industry. Now, the law in the UK has finally caught up.
“This ban in England is wonderful news, and long overdue,” said Reineke Hameleers, director of Eurogroup for Animals. “What we’d like to see is an overarching EU ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and, importantly, national bans on the use of cetaceans in entertainment, as only four Member States have adopted a ban on dolphinaria.”
So far, eighteen EU countries have totally prohibited the use of wild animals in circuses, with restrictions of one form or another in most of the others. England’s ban follows that of Scotland in 2017 but precedes one in Wales, where a bill was introduced to the Welsh Assembly earlier this month.
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