A ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses finally came into force in England on Monday, 20 January 2020.
The legislation finally passed last year after over a decade of promises from successive UK governments, as other countries overtook the UK with similar bans. The long-awaited ban was welcomed by Animal Defenders International (ADI), following 25 years of studies, investigations and campaigns exposing the suffering of animals in circuses.
Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International, said: “At long last we can draw a line under this archaic industry, synonymous with suffering and abuse. Some of the worst cruelty Animal Defenders International has exposed has taken place in circuses in England – never again.”
The news has been welcomed by a number of well-known supporters who have supported ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign for a number of years:
Actor Brian Blessed said: “I have long believed the circus is no place for a wild animal, supporting for many years the ADI Stop Circus Suffering campaign to banish their use to the past. And now – at last! – wild animals in circuses are banned in England. What a fantastic start to the New Year!”
Actor Joanna Lumley said: “Using wild animals in circuses is outdated and extremely cruel. While we have been aware of such inexcusable suffering for many years, it has taken a very long time for any government to act. So this is wonderful news: the terrible exploitation of wild animals has finally been banned.”
Conservationist, former MEP and author Stanley Johnson said: “After so many years of promises and delays, it is fantastic to see wild animals in circuses finally banned in England. Thank you ADI for exposing the suffering and helping to keep this issue on the political agenda. The animals finally have the protection they deserve and need.”