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Breaking News: UK Unanimously Votes For Circus Ban

Breaking News: UK Unanimously Votes For Circus Ban

More than 50 British lawmakers from all the major parties voted unanimously for a complete ban on the use of wild animals in British circuses.  The highly charged debate Thursday evening defied the Prime Minister’s directive and left the government with little choice, except to move forward with freeing lions and tigers from circuses.

The historic vote went against Prime Minister David Cameron’s government that insists imposing restrictions on the use of animals would go against European laws and prompt legal action.

Currently there are 40 wild animals used in the three circuses that tour Britain.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of Animal Defenders International to The Independent, “Politicians have now sent a clear instruction to the Government and they should now proceed with a ban. This debate and vote has exposed the Government and demonstrated just how out of touch they have been with their peers, the public and animal welfare groups.”

Last month ADI released the results of an online poll that showed 72% of the public backed the ban.  Last year another survey by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found that 94.5% of the public supported a ban.

During the debate retired Col. Bob Stewart, a former army officer and Conservative legislator shared a compassionate story about an abandoned circus bear he found while he commanded United Nations forces in Bosnia.

He said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, “I found a bear in a cage in no man’s land. He had been left there for four weeks without water, he was entirely miserable (and) wouldn’t even be coaxed out of his cage by honey,” Stewart said.

Stewart said soldiers were eventually able to move the bear to Croatia, and that the animal was later moved to the Netherlands.

“He’s now in Amsterdam Zoo and full of life. I fully support the idea of banning animals in cages,” Stewart said.

Thursday’s vote doesn’t force the government to actually implement a ban.  The motion was to “direct” the Government to introduce a ban by July 1.  The Animal Welfare minister, Jim Paice told the House of Commons that if their debate led to the approval of the motion, the government would respect the decision.

The RSPCA said: “This is a win for democracy as well as animal welfare.”  It hoped the Government would quickly and formally announce a ban.

ADI has been actively working toward a circus ban and exposed abuse to Anne, an elephant used in Bobby Roberts’ Super Circus earlier this year.  Anne has been moved to a sanctuary.

Editor’s note: A big thank you to everyone who signed the activist petition to end the use of animals in UK circuses. The petition received over 3,000 signatures. Let’s hope other countries follow in the UK’s footsteps and end animal abuse in circuses.

Photo courtesy of Animal Defenders International

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190 comments

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9:33PM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

★ Thanks
UK!
YOU GUYS ROCK! ★

4:18AM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

about time,thank you for sharing 16/7

10:43AM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

Good news.

6:11AM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

Great UK!

9:37AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

IT MENTIONS LIONS AND TIGERS, ARE ELEPHANTS INCLUDED?

9:34AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

oh yeah, this is great news. I did think this ban was already in place, but this is awesome!!

I read about the bear being moved to Amsterdam Zoo. Truly these wild animals must be released to eco sanctuaries. I remember Amsterdam Zoo being tiny with many animals stressed to the max.

9:01PM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Another reason that I wish I were British....

3:15PM PST on Dec 3, 2012

well done UK

7:32AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Hope every other country follows their lead...

5:12AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

I don't think this has actually made it into law yet :-(

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