Belfast Telegraph

MP supports ban on circus animals

East Belfast MP Naomi Long has pledged her support for a ban on circus animals.

Animal Defenders International is behind the campaign seeking an end to the use of wild animals.

The call to action coincides with the release of ADI's new video entitled 'Self Regulation for UK circuses: Are They Serious?' which graphically depicts the random, sanctimonious abuse of wild animals in several UK circuses over the last 15 years and can be viewed at www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment. Naomi Long is one of 143 politicians who has now signed a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) 403 calling for the wild animal ban to finally be implemented.

“I do not believe that it is appropriate for wild animals to be used to perform tricks in circuses and it is clear from the overwhelming public support for a ban on this practice during the consultation that most people share that view,” she said.

“An investigation into the Great British Circus in 2009 showed that violence against animals in circuses is far from an exceptional occurrence. However, even where the animal keepers and trainers are not intentionally cruel, I do not believe that circuses can provide an environment in which the welfare needs of wild animals can effectively be met.

“The only way we will see this welfare issue addressed is for the Government to implement a ban on the use of wild animals in this way. Self-regulation is not merely a poor substitute for a ban, but no substitute at all”, Naomi Long said.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of Animal Defenders International said: “We applaud Naomi for helping strike a blow for wild animals currently languishing in UK circuses. We have recently learnt that even now, after five years, Government is still toying with the idea of self regulation for the UK circus industry, even though they have already looked at this option on numerous occasions.”

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